Foodie Friday: Super Deer Chili, Burgers for the Big Super Bowl Party!

When you’re watching Super Bowl XLVII this weekend with the family or friends, or if you’re going to a Super Bowl party, definitely work in some venison for the munchables.

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

Super Bowl weekend always is rife with planning for the big day. Who’s coming to watch, how much food and beverages you’ll need, what kind of food and beverages, whether kids and maybe your vegetarian neighbors will be there … it’s all important.


Scott Leysath’s incredibly popular and spicy Wild Pig Chili Verde would be a great Super Bowl dish to serve with some venison burgers or even venison chili.

Look, we could suggest throwing out some Ruffles and a platter of cheddar-covered venison burgers and telling everyone “Eat, or don’t.” But that’s not polite. Plus, if you had a good deer season, share the love with your family and friends while the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are pounding the snot outta’ each other at the Mercedez Benz Superdome.

What time is the Super Bowl? Well, glad you asked! It begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

Our crew at Deer & Deer Hunting came up with a few ideas for the game day feast and we plucked these recipes from Scott Leysath, the Sporting Chef: venison burgers, of course, and more venison burgers, maybe some meatballs (easy to eat with toothpicks!), and these super venison satay skewers.

One thing most folks enjoy at a get-together for a football game or tailgate party is a nice bowl of chili. Venison chili is easy to make before the game or to start the morning of, and then have it ready for kickoff or halftime.

Leysath has a great chili recipe you’ll love, too. Check it out!

Silver Sage Caterers, founded by Greg Cornell and me back in the early ’90’s, received more requests for the chili recipe than any other items we prepared. Leftovers have been auctioned off at dinners we catered for sporting groups like the California Waterfowl Association. For our signature beans, we use chunks of sirloin and linguica sausage. We substitute cubed venison shoulder for beef for this version. If you can’t find linguica, use andouille or any good-quality smoked medium-hot sausage. If your sausage does not release a good bit of oil when cooked, you should add some vegetable oil to help brown the venison. I like to serve this with warm flour tortillas. It is important to stew the venison until tender. To do so, you may need to add some more diced tomato or salsa so that there is sufficient liquid to keep the meat moist while cooking.

8 to 10 servings

1 pound linguica sausage, diced
2 pound venison shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat and gristle and then cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 quart canned diced tomato, with juice
1 cup canned diced roasted green chiles
1 quart green chile salsa (or substitute tomato salsa)
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano flakes
3 cups cooked pinto beans, drained
3 – 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add linguica and cook until lightly browned. Add venison and brown evenly. Add next 4 ingredients and cook for a few minutes. Add diced tomato and next 5 ingredients and simmer until venison is tender. It will take 2 to 3 hours. Add additional salsa or tomato if necessary to keep meat moist while cooking. When meat is just tender, add beans, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cilantro. Heat to warm beans. If you want to thicken the chili, add additional tomato paste as necessary. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

How About Wild Pig?

This is an unreal, fantastic dish – Wild Pig Chili Verde – that you’ll savor and might end up sweatin’ a bit if you kick up the spiciness. Leysath creates this for some of his big group events because it’s super easy and super delicious. The toughest thing about it might be finding a good wild pig (and if you can’t find a wild one, just use store-bought).

Serve with warm flour tortillas, shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and cold Mexican beer. 6 – 8 servings

3 pounds boar shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Anaheim peppers, chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 tablespoons dried oregano flakes
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh tomatillos, skin removed; quartered (or canned / drained)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add boar and brown evenly. Drain off any fat or liquid rendered during browning. Add 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth and any additional broth or water to cover meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until meat is tender and breaks apart, but doesn’t fall apart with moderate finger pressure. Drain liquid from stockpot. Add remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and all other ingredients except cilantro. Simmer until peppers are tender. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Want more recipes? Check out Leysath’s long list of venison recipes at his site,, and poke around there for some other big game, upland bird, waterfowl and fish recipes along with preparation tips.

Leysath Better Venison Cookbook

Click the cover to buy!

Want Leysath’s cookbook? His newest one, “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook,” is slammed with great preparation and cooking tips, recipes, photos, insights from Leysath’s time afield and in the kitchen, and much more.

It truly is a great addition to your kitchen or camp, and would be a great gift if you have a friend, spouse or anyone who loves cooking venison. GET IT HERE