Foodie Friday: Venison Chili the Cowboy Way

Camping and hunting seasons will be here before we know it, and venison chili cooked over the campfire is the perfect way to let out your inner cowboy. An easy, powerfully good tasting, filling meal after a long day in deer country is tough to beat, and Paul Doty, of New York, has perfected this venison chili recipe.

Cowboy Venison Chili Recipe

Paul Doty from New York sent us his version of venison chili, cowboy style. Get that campfire started with a good bed of coals, and this chili will hit the spot. (Photo courtesy

With the fire crackling and the Dutch oven brewing in the background, the night is clear and the moon is out, you can kick back and imagine yourself out on the wide-open Old West. So, grab yourself some grub pardner, kick off your boots, and relish the venison chili recipe that any ol’ cowboy would dream of.



  • 3 pounds venison, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup pork lard or Crisco
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 dried red peppers, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried cumin, bruised
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 onions, peeled and chopped at fireside



These instructions are for making at fireside when camping out or on the trail. The spices should be combined at home and carried in a can or plastic bag, the lard and garlic should be packaged separately. You can make chili powder from scratch by mixing ground cayenne, oregano, cumin and salt in a 3:2:1:1 ratio. 

Use a Dutch oven, 3-quart size or better, nestled in a generous bed of coals. It’s easiest if the supply fire is a couple feet away, giving you a chance to work over the pot, adding fresh coals to the cooking area as needed.

Brown the meat in the lard, half at a time. With a large slotted spoon set the browned meat aside, adding more lard as necessary. After all the meat is well browned, pour off any extra grease. Combine the meat, chili powder and all the spices. Dice and add the garlic. Stir the meat vigorously, coating each piece with the spices, and continue cooking over lower heat for 10 to 12 minutes. It may be necessary to remove the kettle from the coals to prevent burning, but the heat of the pot should be sufficient to allow the herbs and peppers to soften and blend. Add enough water to cover the meat. Return to the fire with enough coals to bring the chili to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Grate or chop the onions finely and add to the chili. Continue cooking for an additional hour, adding more water as necessary until the onion dissolves. 

Allow the chili to stand for 10 minutes before serving, skimming off any fat that rises to the top.



Gut It Cut It Cook It is one of several great venison cookbooks available in with tips and recipes for your hard-earned venison. It includes proper field dressing and butchering to storing and preparing your venison. In this info-packed book you’ll find checklists and descriptions of tools you’ll need to get the job done right and affordably, advice for shot placement and ammunition, step-by-step photos and instructions for proper field dressing and skinning, the best tips for butchering, wrapping and freezing venison, and much more. You’ll also get a bonus CD of 50 venison recipes, field dressing chart and meat cuts chart. See it and other great venison cookbooks here.

Cick to learn more …

For more outstanding step-by-step tips on cleaning, processing and preparing your own venison just like these, check out Gut It. Cut It. Cook It. by Eric Fromm and Al Cambronne, available now at