Venison Chili with Jalapeno Cornbread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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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

Jalapeno Cornbread:

1 1/2 cups cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs, separated

Nonstick cooking spray 

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 jalapeno cornbread: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  3.  Combine the cream, milk, butter, thyme and garlic in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Add the cornmeal, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Add the chives, jalapeno, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then mix in the egg yolks, one by one, stirring constantly, until just combined then remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
  5. Coat a cast-iron skillet or an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and pour in the batter. Bake until golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve chili and cornbread with dollops of sour cream, lime zest and fresh cilantro leaves.
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