Get your copies now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's or Indiebound.

41 responses to “Venison Chili”

  1. Don

    I make a dish somewhere in-between this and your Chile Colorado but instead of pureeing the chiles with coffee or stock I seed them and grind them in a coffee grinder-turned-spice-mill then make a dry rub with salt and oregano. Likely wouldn’t work on the tiny pieces of meat suggested here but the larger Colorado-style chunks it works beautifully.

  2. Don

    Sorry, I meant to include a question in my previous comment: Does the puree vs rub have any distinct culinary effect?

  3. Jim

    Great looking recipe! Interesting addition of coffee and molasses.

    I use my standard chili recipe which is pretty similar and just change up the meat. “Bambi and Bullwinkle Chili” is hard to beat!

  4. Tom Warnock

    Don – the best dried chiles are still pliable and will not break when bent. These types would not grind well unless you dried them out further. Using Hank’s method in my opinion gives you a much fresher tasting chili. I’ve done both methods and I’ve been making chilis out of dried pods for several years now and I’ve won some awards also. Pick different types of chilis – find a taste you like.

  5. Guy

    This recipe is also awesome with Duck Breasts substituted for the venison. I save all my diver breast meat (I breast out the divers that have the dreaded orange fishy fat, if the fat is white they get plucked)and when I have 10-15 breasts I make this chili recipe. The only variance is that I simmer everything in a BBQ over low fire using Oak or Hickory to give the chili that smoky flavor for 1 hour before putting the lid on the Dutch oven. Everyone that has tried it, even the non-duck eaters, all love it. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Nick

    Great recipe for that misnamed chili powder and cumin-based stew so popular in much of the US, but it ain’t chili once you throw beans in there…

  7. Zach

    Hank. Do you have a suggestion for a good source of dried chilies?

  8. Teresa Rodriguez

    For a smoother chile puree, put the blendered puree through a food mill to get rid of the skins. It’s the skins that can cause indigestion.

  9. Randy

    I love your recipe. Although I’m not a huge fan of chili but this dishes is really delicious! Thanks for sharing

  10. Eddiek

    Hank, I just have to say thanks again. Because of great recipes like this, my wife has gone from hardly even liking red meat to eating all the great stuff I bring home from hunting. Between you and Steve Rinella, her whole outlook on food has changed, keep it up! I’m looking forward to getting Buck, Buck, Moose in my mailbox in a few months!

  11. Steal Away North

    Looking forward to trying this recipe.

  12. Andrew

    Not a comment on this recipe per se, but a question about game meat in chili and similar dishes in general. Several years ago I used ground elk in a chili recipe. Identical to a chili recipe we do several times per year except we used ground elk instead of beef. The chili had a very distinct sweetness to it with the elk that it never has with beef. We tried several things to dial out some of that sweetness to no avail. It was sweet to the point it was basically inedible.

    What would be the cause of that, and what do I need to do to prevent it next time?

  13. Mike

    Andrew, I use ground elk and venison interchangeably, occassionally ground beef or boar, depending on what’s in the freezer, and over the course of several years and dozens of batches I have never noticed such sweetness. Maybe something else was going on with your batch?

  14. John V

    For anyone looking to use up leftover turkey next week – I used the pepper combo suggested with as much of the method as possible, but didn’t brown the meat and just included turkey skin instead of bacon.

    It was awesome – chopped up the dark meat and skin really finely, added it after everything, and my wife and I could not stop eating it.

    Really amazing recipe. The turkey was just a test, can’t wait to try it full on with the venison I’ve been saving.

  15. Adam Reever

    Hey Hank,

    If using canned beans, do they need to be soaked overnight?



  16. Jordan Childs


    Does the ground venison typically contain any added fat? Or are you simply using 100% ground venison since it’s a chili?


  17. Drew

    Hey Hank,

    My wife and I love the older version of this recipe with pork sausage, but I see that the old link (from 05/10/2011) redirects here. Any chance you could post the old one somewhere or send it via email… or have you completely disavowed it? 😉


  18. Ryan

    Have you ever added stout beer to this chili? Not sure if it would be too much with the molasses in it.

  19. Craig


    Could maple syrup (the good, pure kind) be substituted for the molasses? The only reason being is that I have some maple syrup but not molasses on hand.


  20. mary

    does this keep well? if I fix it on day 1, refrigerate it for a day and then eat it the 3rd day — will it be okay?

  21. Gina

    You provide six different chiles. Would you suggest using all of them if all are available? Or, if you have to choose, which are your preferred chilis?

  22. Brian

    Made this on Saturday to eat during the game yesterday and Hank is on the money. This is the best chili I’ve ever eaten. I used ground venison but am looking forward to the next batch with some Newfoundland moose I recently received from my neighbor.

    One shortcut that may help some folks is that I used an immersion blender for the soaked peppers rather than pulling out the real blender and it worked just fine.

  23. Brandon Yuchasz

    Since I need to buy the chilies online I’m going to stick with the first three. How many of each of those do you recommend?

  24. John Ramkey


    You’ve made a huge mistake.

    I made this recipe last night. It’s wonderfully rich, silky sweet and with my personal touch of four Morita chili’s, it’s intoxicating smokey. Now back to my first point; brief statement regarding the mistake. Your fame has won our everlasting one-sided friendship; of which, the specific word and definition for this distant love escapes me. We’ll be watching, Hank; from afar; distant; studying your habits; moves. We’ll harvest your teachings, aim to improve our lives; toast our meals, sing songs and praises to Hank the educated, Hank the hunter gatherer; writer; and best friend from afar. We’ll be watching.

    P.S. Celery seed; a secret we will not share. Bless you for sharing with us.

    Tay & John

  25. 10 Quick, Easy Wildgame Meals | Game and Garden

    […] Venison Chili from Hank Shaw’s Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. Hank has several crazy in-depth books that are a “must have” books. The photography is amazing along with the recipes. I have always admired Hank!! Check the books out here! By the way, pre-order his new book HERE. […]

  26. Joe

    I made this Chili a couple of months ago and my kids loved it. It tasted even better the next day on some Italian bread. My kids have been begging me to make it again. I have one question: What do you mean by black coffee? Last time I used a cup of Maxwell House. Should I use espresso instead?

  27. JW


    I added a half chipotle pepper to the puree. Should I still add the Chipotle powder or will it turn my chili into an epic fail? I’m currently in the process of making it today. Also, molasses doesn’t seem to be readily available here in San Diego, as a result, I’m having to use pure maple syrup. Thanks again for doing what you do, Hank.


  28. William

    Is it a total of 4 chiles all together? Or, 4 chiles representing each type with a recommended 6 types, totalling 24 chiles? 24 seems a bit much. Please clarify

  29. Sonia O

    Damn fine chili. Reminds me of the elk chili served at the North Rim Grand Canyon Lodge. God bless you for sharing.

Leave a Reply