Venison Chili from the Land

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1- or 2-inch chunks

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked)

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 cup dark beer (such as Dos Equis)

1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth

1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons sauce from the can

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and bacon and cook until the bacon renders its fat, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. 
  2. Pat the venison dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In batches, cook the meat in the Dutch oven until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Remove the meat to a plate as it browns. 
  3. Once all of the meat is out of the pot, add the onion, bell pepper, green chilies, and garlic and cook until the onion and pepper begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and chipotle powder and cook until the vegetables are coated with the spices, about 1 minute. Pour in the beer, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, chopped chipotle and chipotle sauce, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer and add the bacon and venison back. Simmer the stew, partially covered, until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful, 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes, uncovering for the last half an hour. If the meat is tender but the sauce is too thin, simmer rapidly over high heat for a minute or two to reduce, stirring to keep the bottom from burning.