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Steve Rinella's Venison Chili

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Recipe - MeatEater Steve Rinella's Venison Chili

From the Weston Kitchen


Makes  8 servings

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 2¼ lbs ground venison
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large poblanos, stemmed and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, or to taste
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, preferably in tomato puree
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans small red beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups beef stock

Serving Ingredients: 

  • Chili
  • corn chips
  • shredded sharp cheddar or Pepper jack cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced red onions or sliced scallions
  • sliced jalapenos or serrano chiles


Weston partner and MeatEater host Steve Rinella shares his tips for cooking chili using a Weston slow cooker. You can watch the video here.

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or other wide, heavy saucepot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  3. Sprinkle the venison generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches, crumble the venison into large chunks into the pot and sear until browned, transferring to a large bowl as done, 6 to 8 minutes per batch, adding more oil as needed.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium. (If working on an electric range, you may need to remove the pot from heat to let it cool down a bit.)
  6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the poblanos, and onions, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot to cool it down a little faster.
  7. Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  9. Add the chipotles and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or mashing with a potato masher, half of the beans, the stock, and the venison with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.
  10. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
  11. Transfer to a slow cooker for hands-off cooking.
  12. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the venison is tender, about 2 hours.
  13. Add the remaining beans and warm through. Adjust seasonings.

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