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Wild Boar and Venison Chili

This is a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers and fellow Austinite: Ren of Edible Aria. He pulls together perfectly savory and mouthwatering dishes, takes stunning photos, and focuses on cooking with whole, sustainably grown, and real foods. Thanks, Ren!

Those of you who know me know that I stopped eating “conventionally grown/raised” and processed food a few years ago in favor of a traditional diet including grass fed, pastured meats, dairy and eggs, local fresh fruits and vegetables in season and fresh seafood when available.

I particularly eschew the animal products that come from CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), with all the attendant problems of E. coli and Salmonella. Rather, I choose to consume only sustainably and ethically raised products from local farms and ranches.

If there is one thing better than locally produced animal products, however, it is wild game. Ranging freely across millions of acres of Texas land, deer, antelope and boar (and many other species) feed on native grasses, nuts and berries. Completely free of hormones and antibiotics, the complex, natural flavors of game animals offer some of the highest quality, most nutrient dense foods on Earth.

Wild Boar and Venison Chili with Black Beans and Goat Cheese Crema

The Players

  • 1/2 pound coarsely ground wild boar
  • 1/2 pound coarsely ground wild venison
  • 2 oz double smoked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon clean white leaf lard or tallow
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground canella (not cassia)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 pints rich, homemade chicken stock (or, where to buy chicken broth)
  • Enough dried Poblano peppers to yield 1/4 cup chile ancho powder
  • Enough dried New Mexico (red Anaheim) peppers to yield 1/4 cup chile molido powder

The How-To
Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies, split open and lay flat on a hot comal until very lightly toasted (just a few seconds on each side; do not let the chilies burn or they will be bitter). Set aside to cool, then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or food processor.

Toast the coriander and cumin until fragrant. Allow to cool, then grind into a coarse powder along with the cinnamon, cloves.

Mash the salt into the garlic to form a paste. A molcajete is perfect for this task.

Melt the lard in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and most of the fat has been rendered. Add the boar and venison and cook without stirring until well browned on the bottom.

Add the onions, stir and cook until soft and browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock, chili powders and spice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until thickened, about 2 hours. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with long simmered black beans, and a crema of fresh, whole milk whisked with goat cheese.


Grow a pot of herbs, keep a chicken or two, catch a fish, frequent the farmers’ market and food co-op. Change your health and change the world!

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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10 Responses to Wild Boar and Venison Chili
  1. Lovelyn
    October 4, 2010 | 12:17 pm

    Great recipe! I love chili.

  2. Meagan
    October 4, 2010 | 2:02 pm

    AHH! I saw the title of this recipe and swooned! Venison and wild boar I’ve never tried, and I LOVE CHILI!

  3. Sarah (Syrup & Honey)
    October 4, 2010 | 6:33 pm

    Wow – My husband agrees with me that this recipe sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Cathy Payne
    October 4, 2010 | 8:05 pm

    I made chili yesterday from some local Asian Water Buffalo and local veggies. Yum! But OMG, we have wild boar and venison in our back yard! Now we just need to get a gun to harvest some to try out this recipe!

  5. Whitney Lemons
    October 4, 2010 | 8:37 pm

    First, this recipe sounds AMAZING! Thank you for sharing!

    Second, my family hunts (in Texas) and I’ve wondered about the quality of wild game these days since they probably feed on mostly GM and/or conventionally farmed land…not to mention all the nasty GM corn feed people put out. Do you think this affects the final meat enough to matter? I mean, I *know* it’s better than CAFO meat, but do you think it’s a concern at all? (And, yes, I have been accused of worrying too much! ;) )

    Third, my parents’ land has wild hogs. My dad claims that the young ones are the only ones “tender enough and mild enough to eat”. Do you know anything about this? I’d sure hate to waste the older ones if we kill one (we’ve yet to take him up on it).

    Have a great one,

    • Ren
      October 4, 2010 | 11:00 pm

      Those are great questions, Whitney!

      I think you have to make a distinction for the truly wild animals that roam millions of acres of Texas land in the Edwards Plateau, Pecos/Staked Plains, Southern Brushlands and Chihuahuan Desert ecological regions. These animals feed almost exclusively on natives like curly-mesquite, Indian-grass, side oats grama, big and little bluestem, live oak, acorns and mushrooms.

      You’re absolutely right, younger animals of most species do tend to be more tender & mild, but in the case of wild boar they are also much more practical to field dress and pack out than a 500-800 pound specimen :-)

      All the best,


  6. City Share
    October 5, 2010 | 1:43 pm

    This looks delicious. I love that you have the meat chili with the beans on the side. I can tell that you are from Texas. The rest of us would combine them, and I’m sure that would be upsetting to any Texan. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • KristenM
      October 5, 2010 | 5:31 pm

      All too true. I eat beans in chili when it’s served to me that way, but I’d *never* make it that way!

  7. Gennaro
    October 10, 2010 | 6:00 pm

    The wild boar looks tasty. Great philosophy going with local farms and ranches. The Slow Food movement is a favorite.

  8. Rick stein
    December 7, 2013 | 10:46 am

    There’s nothin wrong with the bigger hogs ya just marinate them a lil while and cook them slower.wild is best in my opinion.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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