Venison Chili with Cornbread

Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe



3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chili powder 

2 tablespoons dried oregano 

2 tablespoons sweet paprika 

1 tablespoon chipotle powder 

2 tablespoons ground coriander 

1 tablespoon ground cumin 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

6 cloves garlic, chopped 

2 onions, chopped 

1/2 jalapeño, chopped 

3 pounds ground venison 

Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes 

4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock 

2 tablespoons masa harina 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1/2 tablet Mexican chocolate, chopped


12 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the skillet

1/3 cup cornmeal 

1/3 cup all-purpose flour 

3/4 cup buttermilk 

3/4 cup water 

1/4 cup sugar 

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

6 large eggs 

For Serving:

1 cup sour cream

Zest of 1 lime 

Fresh cilantro leaves 


  1. For the chili: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chili powder, oregano, paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and stir until toasted and very aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, onions and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the venison and cook, stirring, until slightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, masa harina, sugar and chocolate. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the cornbread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter.
  3. Stir together the cornmeal and flour in a small bowl.
  4. Combine the buttermilk, water, sugar, the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter and the salt in a medium pot. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally until the butter melts (about 180 degrees F). Add the cornmeal-flour mixture to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the batter to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until cool to the touch. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the batter sticks to the side of the bowl. Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Serve chili and cornbread with dollops of sour cream, lime zest and fresh cilantro leaves.