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Venison Chili Con Carne

Venison Con Carne is the perfect make-ahead dinner for guests.  The chili actually tastes better after it rests in the refrigerator overnight. I prepared four times the recipe—one for my family and one for the special night of entertaining.  By the way, you should see my kitchen. I am browning 16 pounds of venison in two dutch ovens and on the flat top of the stove.  I have never really been a tidy cook, but I think tidy cooks are not very imaginative and don’t take risks. Or maybe that’s what I tell myself while I make the messes that I make.

Chili con carne made with venison and served with southern fried cornbread courtesy of Stacy Lyn Harris

This is a hearty chili with incredible flavor. One of my favorite things about this dish is that I don’t use ground meat, but chop the venison into 1/4 inch cubes. I also use chipotle peppers in adobe sauce to add depth of flavor in this recipe.  If you don’t want it “spicy hot” just remove the seeds before using them.  It was difficult to make this dish mild while my kids were urging me strongly to add the entire can of chipotle peppers.  I hated to blow up the guests with heat!  Even if you aren’t having guests, I always make a double or quadruple batch to freeze. This chili freezes great. Put the chili in freezer bags, date the bags, and lie flat in the freezer. It tastes just as good in three months as it does the day you make it. Serve Venison Con Carne with Southern Fried Cornbread. Also, watch the video for Chili Con Carne.



  • 1 16- ounce can of tomatoes diced
  • 3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce
  • 5 slices bacon finely chopped
  • 4 pounds venison stew meat cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili seeded and chopped
  • 1- can kidney beans
  • 3- tablespoons chili powder
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow corn mix


  1. In a food processor, place tomatoes and chipotle chili and puree until smooth (This should only take about 10 seconds). In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel. Leave the fat in the pan.

  2. Pat venison dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the fat until smoking hot. Brown half of the venison. (Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown). This should take about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl and repeat.

  3. Add the olive oil, onions, and jalapeño to Dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomato mixture and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add the meat to the Dutch oven then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for about 30 minutes longer.

  4. Ladle 1-cup chili liquid into medium-sized bowl and stir in yellow corn mix. Whisk mixture into chili and simmer until chili thickens. Check seasonings. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or cheese and Jalapeño Cornbread.

14 responses to “Venison Chili Con Carne”

  1. Tina Parham says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe…Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Stacy Harris says:

    Thanks Tina! Let me know what you think! Thanks for commenting.

  3. we love you chili con carne so much over a bunch of boiled patatoes! AWESOME! We are buying your book. We are hunters and harvest aleast 2 t 3 deer a year. I am looking foward to cooking more thanks to you!

    • Stacy Harris says:

      That sounds great! Even better over baked french fries. Yummy!!! THanks for commenting. I always love feedack. I love having enough venison for the entire year to eat. It is so incredibly healthy. I think that you will love the book. I have quite a few sides that go well with the main courses and a few desserts to boot. Please keep in touch.

  4. Chad says:

    when you say to use yellow corn mix, do you mean corn meal? or a mix like Jiffy?

    • Stacy Harris says:

      I did use Jiffy cornmeal mix for this recipe. It is a little finer and has a sweeter taste than plain cornmeal. This is a must try. Let me know what you think!

  5. […] The thing I loved about my granny besides her food was that she thought that I could do no wrong.  I was perfect to her!  That amazes me.  What an incredible blessing!  I hope that you enjoy this crunch on the outside and moist on the inside fried cornbread as much as I do!  This side pairs perfectly with Venison Soup, Hoppin’ John and Chili Con Carne. […]

  6. Ray Allen says:

    Couple of questions: 1. Assume recipe means 2 T Olive Oil? Bullets got separated. 2. What are you using canned tomatoes and not making your own stewed tomatoes? That said, if using canned why not use flavored/enhanced (basil and oregano for example)? Don’t get me wrong, I use the canned tomatoes all the time (I find the flavored better), but, I also am growing a crop of tomatoes this year and want to can my own for use in spaghetti and chili…

    • stacy says:

      Ray Allen, thanks for bringing my attention to the bullet being separated on the olive oil. Yes, you are correct. 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. I will correct that. Now for your second question…I am using my HOMEMADE pints (16 ounces) of canned tomatoes. I am very sorry for leaving that point out of the recipe. You can use any canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, flavored tomatoes or any tomatoes you wish for your chili. Glad you are growing your own tomatoes this year. Making what you like is one of the benefits of gardening.

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