Wild Game Chili Recipe

March 19, 2008 4 Comments

Wild Game Chili

Wild Game

Wild game is a popular item at many of the Park City, UT restaurants and for very good reasons. Visitors love trying something new especially if it is an ingredient not found on their hometown restaurant menus.

And let’s face it, how often do you find buffalo, elk, venison, or wild bore at your neighborhood eatery.

I have tried and enjoyed all these “wild game” meats during my six years as a resident of Park City. Are they better than beef? Are the worth the higher price?

I guess that depends on your personal tastes. As much as I enjoy a venison steak while here in the mountains, I wouldn’t pick it over a choice or prime cut New York strip steak.

One recipe I would like to try at home, if I can find the ingredients, is Zane Holmquist’s Wild Game Chili. Zane is the executive chef at the world class Stein Eriken Lodge in Deer Valley just up the road from downtown Park City.

I’m not sure Zane remembers who I am but we met many times when I lived there and even went to a Fourth of July barbecue at his house years ago.

Zane said this about cooking wild game meats in the Park City Magazine where I found this recipe,

“We’re in the West; it’s part of our heritage. It’s also nice to broaden our horizons and use meat with unique textures and flavors.”

He also says in the article,

“seasonings like garlic, verdant herbs, and earthy mushrooms help to balance the robust flavors of wild game before cooking the meat to a medium-rare to medium doneness.”


Wild Game Chili

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Wild Game Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil or corn oil

1/2 pound buffalo, diced in ¾ inch cubes

1/2 pound elk or venison, diced in ¾ inch cubes

1/2 pound wild boar or pork, diced in ¾ inch cubes

1 onion, medium diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

2 tablespoons pasilla chile powder

2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder

1/2 cup coffee, brewed

1 bay leaf

9 ounces tomato juice

18 ounces canned diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups beef stock or one 12-ounce can of beer

4 cups water

Sour cream for garnish

Green onions for garnish

How To Prepare At Home

Mix all the dry spices together and use half the mixture to season the meat. Heat the oil in large stock or soup pot until hot but not smoking and brown the meat for 10 - 15 minutes in the pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the coffee, tomato juice, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, stock, water and the remaining spice mixture. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the meat is tender. You can adjust the consistency with more stock and check the seasonings.

Garnish with sour cream and green onions before serving.

This sounds like a great recipe and I'm sure you can substitute some easier to find ingredients for the wild game meats and still have a great result.

By the way, one of my other favorite all time chili recipes is Deer Valley Chili and very popular to everyone who ski at the Deer Valley Resort.


Last modified on Mon 27 August 2018 3:28 pm

Filed in: Venison Recipes

Comments (4)

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  1. jfield says:

    That sounds wonderful, RG. It’s getting too hot here in FL already to contemplate chili, but I envy folks who are still enjoying chili weather:-)

    Ingredients shouldn’t be too hard to come by if you use venison, buffalo and pork. I’d also go with half and half beer to stock instead of all one or all the other.

    We butchered and cooked a wild boar at work a few weeks ago and had everything from wild boar bacon to head cheese. It was fantastic!

  2. Blake says:

    That definitely sounds like a fantastic recipe! I also think the beer has to be in there. Here in Texas you can’t walk two feet at a chili cook-off without someone telling you why their chili is better than the next guy’s. That being said – I’ve tasted a lot!

    I know it’s easier to sub the pork or other common meats for some of the exotic stuff, but the taste just isn’t even close in comparison. I highly recommend this site we use for wild boar meat because they are fresh, quality, and affordable. I’ve had much more luck with them than any of our local meat vendors here in Austin and I just really recommend their product.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe and hopefully this was helpful!

  3. Natalie Shannon says:

    WARNING!!!! do not put 4 tablespoons of salt!!! It is too salty to eat after it sat in the fridge overnight.

    With that being said… we ate the chili after it simmered over four hours and it was the best chili I’ve ever had. I use ground red deer, ground water buffalo and wild hog steaks. The steaks melted in our mouths.😋 I also added 2 green bell peppers and 7-10 roasted New Mexico green chilies. Add a little bit of cumin too.

    Thank you for this recipe. When we get more meat I will definitely make this again possibly without adding salt sense the tomatoe sauce and diced tomatoes have salt in them.

    Lastly, if you have away to make it less salty please let me know…🙏 I don’t want to throw the rest of the chili out.😕

    • Thanks Natalie for pointing that out. Not only does that sound like too much salt, it is a lot of chili to make at home for a family meal. You could feed a small Olympic ski team with that much chili. I found Zane’s recipe online more appropriate for home cooks that I think you will like.

      For the overly salty chili you have now, you can try adding a starch like potatoes or even a little bit of flour. You can also try adding some cream to compensate for the saltiness. Thanks for your kind comments.

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