Jess's Venison Chili

From Wayne's Dusty Box of Words


My father likes to hunt deer but isn't a huge fan of venison. For the last 10-12 years, he's been giving me most of the meat because I have two velociraptors shaped like his grandsons to feed and a limited budget. So a good portion of our "red" meat protein has been venison. Jess has sorted out 4 or 5 recipes that everyone really likes. One of the best ones if this Chili.

This isn't hot chili by any means, feel free to crank it up. She does as the mood strikes her (I can tell when Joey's been a pain in the ass to her because dinner comes out hot enough to make your eyelids sweat and he's crying and asking for sour cream).


  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon
  • reserved fat (from bacon)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups red wine (I used merlot)
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 2 cups black beans, pre-cooked. Canned is ok.


  1. Cook the bacon (I use the oven, 400 degrees for 20ish min) - Reserve the fat. When cool, chop bacon into small bites
  2. Put about 4 tbs of bacon fat in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  3. Then stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and salt. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by about half.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the rest of the bacon fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the venison to the skillet. Season the meat with salt to taste and saute the meat for 15 minutes, chopping/stirring to keep meat from clumping. Stir in the beans and chopped bacon. Transfer this mixture to the simmering pot.
  5. Mix everything together thoroughly and let simmer for at least 20 more minutes.