Venison Chili and Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe

venison chili

This is by God the best chili I've ever tasted, and I'm really not even much of a chili fan.  Cornbread fan, yes, and the cornbread is damned good, too.  My mom comes from South Georgia farm country and cornbread is a staple around here. 

Cindy, on the other hand, moved to the South from Connecticut, but she's given over to most our ways.  It took her a little longer to realize that the virtue of cornbread lies not in the sweet, but in the savory. 

When she was a chef working at an artists retreat here in the Southern Appalachians, she once served her guests cornbread with honey.  After the meal, a sweet southern lady from Atlanta came into the kitchen and, with the gentle tone of a mother correcting her young child's pronunciation said, "Let me show you how to make cornbread."  With this, Cindy partook of the body of the Southern Cornbread. 

Truth be told, she still likes sweet cornbread, too. You can take the girl out of the North, but...


Julie's picture

I do believe this is the first recipe I have ever run across that called for bear fat.

I will give this chili recipe a try. I am a huge fan of chili!

Anonymous's picture

i like wild foods, but, have not tried bear. Where would i get that?

Eric Orr's picture

@Julie - It took me a while to convince Cindy to use bear grease.  She was a vegetarian for over 10 years and only started eating wild sustainable meat 3 years ago.  So she's still a little grossed out by some of the more "unconventional" animal products.  But bear fat is such a great thing to cook with.  It can take high heat and it's really superior for pastries.  It's also a great thing to have around for oiling wood, leather, steel and making salves.  The fact that we get it free from a local processor makes the price perfect!

@Anonymous - It depends on the availability of bears as game and the game laws where you live.  Here in GA it's illegal to buy or sell any wild meat and our Department of Natural Resources is really touchy about bears.  We live in the mountains where black bears are plentiful and we can usually get 10 or 20 pounds of bear fat from our local wild game processor each season. 

Dusty's picture

@Eric - Can you recommend a wild-meat processor? The only ones I know are on the south side and are kind of a drive from where I live now.

Eric Orr's picture

I go to Georgia Mt. Processing in Mt. Airy.  A guy named Justin owns it and is super nice.  I also get deer skins from him occasionally.  I think it would be pretty far for you.  Not sure about your neck of the woods, but Christina or Alice would probably know.

JJ's picture

This sounds great, always looking for new venison recipes. Thanks for sharing. Great blog!


Dusty's picture

I love this website :) I have taken allot classes on wild edibles and wild food but no one has really given me recipes. You need to write a cookbook!

Eric Orr's picture

Hey Dusty!  Thanks for the compliment.  I'm hoping Cindy will come up with some more recipes so we can eventually put together a wild food cookbook.  She's been super busy.

Joan's picture

Hi Eric!
Glad that I came across your recipe, this is a great idea!
Instead of using venison, I used wild boar, a meat with a much more explicit fragrance and flavor.
Other things I changed : I added about 1/2 cup of bourbon instead of the sherry, and also added a big spoonful of pure, unsweetened cocoa powder. Even though I prepared it now, we'll eat it only the day after tomorrow.
Just let them flavors have a good sleep together in the fridge :)

Eric Orr's picture

Hey Joan! Sounds good! Cocoa powder is good idea. Let me know how it turns out. I got a wild pig a month or so ago and haven't decided what to do with it... maybe I'll give it a shot.

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