Recipe Source: Venison Chili Recipe
Who doesn’t love chili? And what hunter doesn’t love venison chili?
This is the best tasting version of this classic dish.
This recipe has been a backbone of Hank Shaw’s game cooking for many years, and he has tinkered with it all this time. It has won numerous chili cookoffs and, may well be the best chili you’ve ever eaten. Doubt me? Make it. You’ll see.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
- 1 pound pinto or black beans (optional)
- 4 each, dried ancho, guajillo, pasilla, cascabel, mirasol or mulato chiles
- 1/2 pound Mexican chorizo or bacon
- 2 to 3 pounds venison, ground or diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder (optional)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup of black coffee
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- Beef or venison broth (have a quart ready)
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro and shredded cheese to garnish
- Soak beans in water overnight. If you have forgotten this, pour boiling water over them and soak for 4 hours, changing the water after 2 hours. Break up and seed the chiles and cover with boiling water. Let stand for an hour or so. Grind to a puree with the consistency of gravy, adding about 1 cup of the soaking water and the coffee to do so.
- Break up the chorizo or chop bacon and fry over medium heat in a Dutch oven or other large, lidded, oven-proof pot. Once the chorizo has browned or the bacon is crispy, remove it and set aside. Add the venison and brown over high heat. You want the highest heat on your most powerful burner here, because the meat will want to steam and stew and not brown. If you are doing a big pot of chili, brown the meat in batches. Stir occasionally as it browns. Salt it as it cooks.
- Once all the meat is ready, add the onion to the pot and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often. If you are using chorizo, return it to the pot; if you are using bacon, leave it out for now. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, paprika, cumin, coriander, chipotle powder and salt one at a time, stirring to combine each time.
- Add chile puree and tomato paste and stir to combine well. Add the molasses and enough beef broth to cover everything – you want it to be thin like a soup. I typically need at least a pint of broth, sometimes a quart. Stir to combine all this well, bring to a bare simmer and cook gently for 3 hours or so, stirring occasionally. Put the lid halfway over the pot as it cooks. You want it to eventually cook down and be thick.
- Once the beans are tender, you’re good to go. If you are using canned beans, now’s the time to add them. Return the bacon to the chili if you’re using it. Serve the chili with rice or cornbread, and top with cilantro, cheese and maybe some pickled onions.