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Recipe courtesy of The Federal

Texas Venison Chili

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Chili Puree:

4 pasilla chiles, seeded

2 ancho chiles, seeded 

1 chile de arbol, seeded 

1 1/2 cup chicken stock, plus more as needed for pureeing 

2 corn tortillas, quartered 


6 tablespoons corn oil

1 1/2 pounds ground venison

1 large yellow onion, diced 

4 cloves garlic, minced 

2 tablespoons ground cumin 

1 1/2 cup dark beer 

4 cups chicken stock 

8 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 cinnamon stick 

Fresh lime juice, for serving

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the chili puree: Combine the pasilla chiles, ancho chiles, chile de arbol and chicken stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chiles are soft, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Pour into a blender. Add the tortillas and puree until smooth. The chili mixture should be quite thick with just enough liquid to puree. You may need to add a bit of additional stock.
  2. For the chili: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add the venison and cook, stirring twice, until just brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan with the hot oil and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili puree and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thick and very dark, about 7 minutes. Stir in the venison, beer and chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until very thick and reduced by half, about 1 hour.
  4. Tie the cilantro and cinnamon stick together with kitchen twine. Remove the chili from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and cilantro bundle. Let stand, without stirring, for 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cilantro bundle. Let stand, without stirring, for 15 more minutes, then stir in some lime juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
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