Venison Chili

Wild Game Wednesday: Venison Chili with Pickled Jalapeños

With firearm deer season just two weeks away, and more than 660,000 deer hunters taking to the woods, preparations for camp traditions are in full swing! Year after year those traditions get passed down, and although they may vary from camp to camp, they are a part of every hunter. It could be the same hunter orange chuke you’ve had for a decade, or warding off the mice that have decided to make camp their home, or even walking that same trail out to your favorite spot during those dark crisp mornings. But some of my biggest memories growing up was the feast that occurred on the “eve” of firearm season. Just thinking about it, I can already hear the sizzling butter in the cast iron, the smell of grandma’s homemade bread wafting out of the camp kitchen, and hearing that dinner bell ring, knowing it’s going to be the feast of all feasts.

What could be better than starting the season off with the last of the venison from the previous year, it sort of gets you into the mindset, don’t-cha think? Growing up, venison chili was a staple out at camp, right next to grandma’s homemade bread.

While you’re busy prepping for camp, or if you’re just looking for a good fall chili recipe, consider trying it with venison! It often goes overlooked that wild meat is some of the most “organic” and “free-range” food choices available. If you don’t have a recipe, have no fear, Gourmet Gone Wild has the recipe for you, check it out below!


Venison Chili with Pickled Jalapeños

Serves 8-10



2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

3 Onions, sliced thinly

5 Garlic cloves, chopped

2 TBSP thyme, fresh

2 TBSP tarragon, fresh

2 Bay leaves

2 Cups dry vermouth

2 LB ground venison

1 Can kidney beans (10-12oz.)

1 Can Northern beans (10-12oz.)

1 Can chili sauce (10-12oz.)

1 Can diced tomatoes (10-12oz.)

2 Quarts chicken stock

1 TBSP cumin

  Chili powder, to taste

   Cayenne pepper (ground), to taste

   Salt and black pepper, to taste


PREP TIME: 30 minutes          COOK TIME: 1 hour

Caramelize onions in extra virgin olive oil.

  1. When the onions are caramelized add the garlic, cook for 5 more minutes
  2. Add the thyme, tarragon, bay leaves and vermouth. Cook until the liquid is almost gone.
  3. Stir in the ground venison and cook through.
  4. Add beans, chili sauce, tomatoes and chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the spices and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook until you get your desired consistency.


1     16oz. canning jar

10   Jalapeños, sliced thinly

11/4  Cups water

1     TBSP malt vinegar

2     TBSP sugar

1     TSP kosher salt

1     TBSP pickling spice

1     Tarragon sprig, fresh

1     Garlic cloves, crushed


  1. Thinly slice the jalapeños and discard the stem. (Take care to use rubber gloves while handling jalapeños.)
  2. Place all ingredients except the jalapeños into a pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  3. Strain the liquid and place the jalapeños into sterilized mason jar.
  4. Pour the hot liquid over top the jalapeños, making sure to cover them and then lid the jar.
  5. Place a grate in a heavy-bottom pot.
  6. Place the jar on top of the grate and pour cold water on it. Making sure to cover the jar with the cold water by at least 1 inch.
  7. Bring to boil for 20 minutes.

After the time has elapsed very carefully, with tongs pull the jar out of the water and let cool on the counter. Be careful, it will be extremely hot.



Garnish with any combination of pickled jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chive sour cream, then serve with hand-torn cornbread or pretzels.

Check back every Wednesday for a new Wild Game Dish recipe, proudly used by MUCC’s Gourmet Gone Wild program! If you’re looking for more wild game and fish recipes check out the MUCC online store and purchase a copy of Wild Gourmet!

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