New Mexico-Style Black Bean Venison Chili

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If venison is not available, substitute beef. It’s a lot easier to use canned black beans.


For the Chili:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound coarsely ground venison or stew meat

  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

  • 4 tablespoons ancho chile powder

  • 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped

  • 1/8 cup Asian hot sauce, Sriracha recommended

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and diced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 quart chicken stock, a little more on hand might help

  • 2 12-ounce bottles of dark beer

  • 1 cup black beans (For fresh, soak over night; for canned, open quickly and lose the can. Either way, drain well)

  • ½ teaspoon epazote

  • 2 tablespoons masa harina

  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Goat Cheese Crema:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tablespoons garlic puree

  • 8 ounces goat cheese

  • 1 jar Coyote Trail Red Mild Grill & Dipping Sauce (or salsa of choice)


For the Chili:

Heat the oil in a heavy stockpot until lightly smoking. Add the venison and brown lightly.

Add garlic, onions and jalapeño; cook over medium heat for another 15 minutes or so.

Add ancho puree, chipotle, Asian hot sauce, tomatoes, and cumin, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and beer, and bring to a rolling boil. Add the beans and epazote.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat and beans are soft and tender, stirring often. Add more stock throughout the cooking process, if necessary, to keep the meat and beans covered.

Whisk in the masa harina and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Goat Cheese Crema:

Heat the cream in a small sauce pan until it is about to boil. Add garlic puree. Turn off the heat and let it steep for 25 minutes.

Pour contents in a blender and add the cheese. Puree the mixture until smooth. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

To serve:

Serve chili in warm bowls, topped with a large dollop of Goat Cheese Crema and a tablespoon of Coyote Trail Red Mild Grill & Dipping Sauce.

Venison Steak with Juniper Berry and Red Chile Sauce

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This recipe is by Lois Ellen Frank, from her book Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations (Ten Speed Press, 2002). Both the venison and the juniper berries are available from mail-order sources. Of course, grape juice or wine would not have been available to the Maya, but Lois has adapted this recipe for the modern kitchen.


For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries

  • 3 cups unsweetened dark grape juice or wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme

  • 2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups beef stock

For the Steaks:

  • 6 venison steaks, 8 to 10 ounces each

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 whole dried chiles de arbol, seeds and stems removed, crushed


To make the sauce, wrap the juniper berries in a clean kitchen towel and crush them using a mallet. Remove them from the towel and place them in a saucepan with the grape juice or wine, bay leaves, thyme and shallots. Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until the liquid has been reduced to 1 cup. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes until the sauce has been reduced to 1 ½ cups. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and keep it warm.

Brush the steaks on both sides with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and grill for 3 minutes, until they have charred marks. Rotate the steaks a half turn and grill for another 3 minutes. Flip the steaks over and grill for another 5 minutes until done as desired.

Ladle the sauce onto each plate, top with the steaks, pattern-side up, and sprinkle the crushed chiles over them.

Pepita-Grilled Venison Chops

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Here is a tasty grilled dish featuring native New World game, chiles, and tomatoes, plus pepitas–toasted pumpkin or squash seeds. Garlic is not native to the New World, but is given here as a substitute for wild onions, which the people of Cerén would have known.


  • 5 tablespoons pepitas

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon red chile powder

  • ½ cup tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar

  • 4 thick-cut venison chops, or substitute thick lamb chops


Puree all the ingredients, except the venison, in a blender. Paint the chops with this mixture and marinate at room temperature for an hour.

Grill the chops over a charcoal and piñon wood fire until done, basting with the remaining marinade.

Venison Chili

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This is the universally favorite way to prepare venison. Venison is quite lean yet very flavorful. It makes a wonderful chili that doesn’t have a fatty flavor. The slow cooking, chiles, and seasonings tremove any wild taste the meat might have. It freezes beautifully, so double the recipe and freeze a batch for another evening meal. Substitute elk if you wish.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 ½ pounds coarsely ground venison

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions

  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

  • ½ cup cooked, coarsely chopped bacon

  • 3 small jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons ground New Mexican red chile

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 12-ounce can beer, dark preferred

  • 1 12-ounce can tomato paste

  • 1 16-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed


In a large pot, heat the olive oil and brown the venison. Add the onions, garlic, and cooked bacon. Stir in the peppers, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt.

Add the beer, tomato paste, and stir in the drained beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to prevent burning and to combine flavors. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.

Venison Red Chili Stew

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‘Pork and beef are more commonly used, but venison is a tasty variation. If you want beans in your chili, you need to ask.’


ancho chile, venison, onion, garlic, beef broth


When you order chili in New Mexico, you will be served a variation of this recipe. It is a recipe that has its roots in old Pueblo Indian cooking and is basically meat in a seasoned chile sauce. Pork and beef are more commonly used, but venison is a tasty variation. If you want beans in your chili, you need to ask.

  • 6 to 8 dried red New Mexican chiles

  • 1 ancho chile

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds venison, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Place the chiles on a baking pan and toast them in oven for 15 minutes, or until fragrant, being careful not to let them burn. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and crumble them into a bowl. Cover them with hot water and let them steep 15 minutes. Drain and discard the water.

In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the venison, and brown. Remove the meat and add the onion to the pan. Add more oil if necessary and saute until the onion begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Place the chiles and the onion mixture in a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of the broth and puree until smooth, adding more broth if necessary. Strain the mixture through a sieve.

In a large saucepan, combine the chile mixture, venison, and remaining broth. Bring to just below boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer until the meat is very tender and the sauce has thickened, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with a warmed flour tortilla.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium