Susan's Recipes

Hattie'ís Venison Chili Con Carne

Venison makes a great chili con carne. It has more flavor than beef. Feeds six adults.


  • One kilo (2 lbs.) of venison
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 quart of homemade chicken or beef stock
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp ground sweet paprika
  • 1 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • Palmful of oregano (a palmful is about 2 Tbsps)
  • Ĺ to 1 Tsp salt


  1. Take one kilo of venison, either meat or venison burger. If using meat, cube it, and brown in batches in olive oil (about 2 Tbsp) in a large skillet ( I prefer a ten-inch cast iron skillet - not Caphalon!!). If using venison burger, just brown it. Drain the meat.
  2. In a three to four quart heavy pot (mine is a Le Creuset that I bought at the Salvation Army in Santa Cruz, CA), heat one Tbsp of olive oil and sautť two large onions which have been sliced.
  3. When the onions are limp, but not yellow (donít overcook them, maybe 7 minutes tops) add about 10 cloves of garlic which have been mashed and minced. When the garlic scents up, add the meat. Add one quart of homemade chicken or beef stock. If you don'ít have your own stock, try Campbellís low-sodium chicken stock.
  4. Add the spices. Crush the oregano in your hand before adding.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for at least three hours or until the meat is fork-tender.
  6. Even though venison is very lean, the chili should be defatted. I do this by letting it cool and then refrigerating the chili overnight. The next day, I remove the fat.


  1. The amount of seasoning will make a sprightly but not incendiary chili. If you're going for the burn, use beef (why waste venison?) and add three to four fresh chili peppers.
  2. Chili powder can be purchased in bulk at most alternative grocers. The chili powder is made from only ground up chilies. Donít use commercial mixes, which include spices and salt which take all the fun out of it.
  3. To serve, reheat. Some like to thicken the chili with masa or fine corn meal. To do this, mix some about ľ cup fine corn meal with enough water to make a thin paste (no more than one cup of water). Add this quickly to the chili as it simmers, stir like crazy, or you may get lumps. If you use the masa, be sure to cook the chili for at least another 20 minutes or so, or it may taste pasty.
  4. Serve it up in bowls with rice, beans, bread or whatever on the side. Coleslaw would be the only salad Iíd serve with this.
  5. It freezes beautifully.