This Chunky Venison Chili is so very tender and it was made with one of the tougher cuts of the deer, from the rear leg. The trick is to brown the venison chunks over very high heat, quickly.
The slow cooker makes this cut, normally just ground for burger, into a chili that you would never realize is even venison.
Eric has tricked friends and told them it was filet of beef! 🙂 (and they believed him!)
I know you probably won’t believe me, but if you try this chili, you will not believe it is not filet!
What cuts to use for chili
Use any cuts from the back legs or rump section of the deer. These tougher cuts lend themselves well to slow cooking to tenderize the meat.
Another key to cooking these tougher cuts is to make sure that you remove all of the tendon that has multiple layers between the good meat. The tendon is hard to chew and your chili will not be as tender.
The Origins of Chili con Carne
As with a lot of dishes that we eat here in America, Chili con Carne is not a native dish from Mexico. Even though it is attributed to Mexico, like many dishes, immigrants probably modified an existing recipe to take advantage of locally sourced ingredients.
One account, attributes the dish to Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain. She was known as the Lady in Blue, and is said to have never left Spain. After a trance, she supposedly wrote down the recipe for stew, containing venison or antelope meat, according to What’s Cooking America.
Venison Chili vs. Beef Chili
If you were to compare the 2 chilies with the exact same ingredients, and quantities, one made with venison and the other with beef, according to Outdoor Life, the venison chili would have less than half of the calories and 1/6th of the saturated fat! Thus, venison chili is the healthier choice.
Between Eric and both boys we usually end up with over 300 pounds of meat. It really helps with the grocery bills.
The only drawback, or not depending on how you look at it, is that I have to get creative with my recipes, or we would get very sick of eating venison.
Here are some of the great recipes I have come up with for making different venison recipes!
What you need
- venison roast or stew meat
- peppers; sweet and hot
- chipotle in adobo
- assorted beans; pinto, chili, light or dark kidney beans, black eyed peas
- fresh or roasted garlic
- granulated garlic
- oregano or Mexican oregano
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
How to make it
- Brown meat in a little olive oil over high heat.
- Add celery and onions to same pan. Turn heat down.
- Cook until golden colored and vegetables are soft. Add everything to slow cooker.
- Add tomatoes.
- Chop peppers. (If using fresh peppers, soften them with onion and celery.)
- Add spices to chili. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hours.
Let your chili cook for a couple days. I usually start the slow cooker on high, until it boils, then turn it down to low and cook for about 5 hours. Refrigerate it over night.
The next day, scrape off any fat that accumulated on the top. Turn the slow cooker on high again, until it boils. Then reduce heat to low. Cook it again for about 5 hours.
The cooling off and reheating, not only improves the texture, it lets the flavors all mingle together.
Who hasn’t said that the soup or stew tasted better the second day? The same goes for chili! I never skip this step, I feel it’s that important!! Of course, it is certainly edible the first day it is cooked, just better day two!
About an hour before serving add corn meal. It thickens up the chili nicely and adds extra flavor.
Chilies are a great place to hide extra veges
I always add lots of veges and beans to my chili. This batch I cleaned out the freezer of all the small bags of roasted sweet and hot peppers and garlic from my garden last summer.
Any vegetable you have on hand is great to add to chili though.
Tools I Use to Make Chunky Venison Chili
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Chunky Venison Chili – Slow Cooker Version
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 lb beef we used sirloin steak, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 lb venison remove all tendons and silver skin, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 large Onion diced
- 3 stalks Celery diced
- 1 Pepper roasted or fresh, diced
- 2 Chipotle in adobo and tablespoons of juice, minced
- 2 cans beans assorted
- 3 28 oz diced tomatoes I used frozen
- 1 head roasted garlic or mince 3 large cloves fresh
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp garlic, granulated
- 1 tbsp dried coriander
- 1 tbsp oregano, dried
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp Chili powder
- 2 tbsp cornmeal if the chili has a lot of liquid, I may add up to 1/4 cup
- Add olive oil to cast pan, if you have one, over high heat. Brown beef first. (The reason I use a little beef is because it adds a bit of much need fat to the chili)
- Once beef is browned remove it to slow cooker with slotted spoon. Add a bit more oil, if you need to between batches. Then brown venison, in batches. Add it to the slow cooker when browned.
- Add a bit more oil and reduce heat on pan. Sauté onion, celery and peppers (if using fresh).
- When they are soft, add garlic and soften that until it is fragrant.
- Add some of the tomatoes to the same pan and scrape the fond (browned bits).
- Add all of the rest ingredients to the slow cooker. Turn heat to high until it boils. Turn down and cook on low for about 5 hours.
- Refrigerate overnight. The next day, scrape the accumulated fat off the top of the chili. Again, turn slow cooker to high until chili boils. Then reduce heat and cook for another 4 hours or so. Then add corn meal and stir in. Cook for another 30 minutes- 1 hour. Serve with cheese, green onions, jalapeño slices, sour cream or whatever other toppings you like.
- green onion
- creme fraiche or sour cream
- queso fresco or cotija
- pickled jalapeno
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