Deer Chili (Venison)


This is one of my family’s cold-weather comfort foods.  It is super simple to make and if you are not a fan of venison, you can easily substitute beef.


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 pound venison tenderloin
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper
  • 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans


Venison is a very lean meat and so when it is processed, fat has to be added to it (see the white spots).


I normally add a venison tenderloin and thought that is what I had pulled out of the freezer until it was already thawed and I read that it was cubed steak.  So that is what I used in this chili.  I do like to have another cut of venison in my chili besides just the ground venison.


In a large stock pot, add olive oil.  This is particularly necessary since venison is so lean and has very little fat but not so necessary if you are using a ground beef.


Add the ground venison.


While the ground meat begins to brown, cut up the tenderloin or in my case, the cubed steak into small chunks.


Add the meat chunks to the pot.


Get yourself a large onion and 4 cloves of garlic.


Slice, dice and chop these up.


Add to the pot.


I am going to give you some seasoning measurments but everyone likes their chili to taste their way.  Some like it hot, some mild and then everone else in between.

I have sea salt on hand right now so I threw in about 1/2 Tablespoon of salt.  Go light on salt at first and then you can add more later.


I added about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.


3 Tablespoons chili powder.  Again, you can add more of this later if it isn’t hot enough for you.


1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for heat.  You can add more later if you want more kick.


Open up all the cans but do not drain the beans.  Flavor and thickening you don’t want to throw away.


All the cans are dumped, now let’s have some fun with the whole tomatoes.


Get one in your hand.


And squeeze and twist and make a little mess.


It feels really cool to play with your food.


I contained the mess to just a small area.  Be careful cause they do squirt really good.


Stir all the ingredients together and cover the pot.


Cook this on low for a few hours.


This is when you can adjust your seasonings.  I had to add a bit more salt and chili powder to  mine.

We like to serve ours with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and saltine crackers.




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