Smoked Venison Chili and a Possible Shopping Spree at Bass Pro

smoked venison chili

Liquid smoke makes any dish taste like it came off the grill…even chili!

It’s getting chilly here in Northern Virginia, and that means it’s time to start making some chili! This recipe is a variation on one of my go-to recipes, Venison Chipotle Chili. This time I’m featuring Wright’s Liquid Smoke in it. Why? Well, for two reasons. One, I really love the stuff. And two, Wright’s contacted me and asked me to mention the sweepstakes they’re running (info a little further down).

I happen to love Wright’s Liquid Smoke, so it took me only about one second to agree. If you have never used it before, run—don’t walk—to your grocery store to pick it up. I use it in all sorts of things, although I most commonly use it when I’m braising and slow cooking roasts.

However, I thought it would be a nice substitute for the chipotle peppers in my favorite chili recipe. But there’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s to make it! So I did. And I was right.

This chili is so easy to make. And if you don’t have venison, you can use beef or turkey as well. But it’s best with venison.

Wright’s Liquid Smoke Sweepstakes

Wright's liquid smoke

Don’t wait. Enter to win at the the Wright’s Facebook page.

As for the sweepsteaks…who wouldn’t want a chance to win a gift card for Bass Pro Shop? I know I would. Maybe I will…I plan on entering. Here’s what you do:

On Monday, December 9th, Wright’s will launch the enter-to-win sweepstakes through an application on their Facebook page (

When fans enter they will unlock three great smoky venison recipes (which I’ve seen, and they look really good).

The sweepstakes ends on Friday, December 20th. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 Bass Pro Shop gift card and a year’s supply of Wright’s Liquid Smoke.

It’s that simple. So hop on over to Wright’s Facebook page and enter. Tell them the Hunting Widow sent you!

Smoked Venison Chili

: a smoky flavor for a chilly night


  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes with juice, chopped
  • 1 tsp Wright’s Liquid Smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, brown the venison and set aside.
  2. In a large, heave saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook until tender (5–10 minutes).
  3. Add chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes.
  4. Add the meat, tomatoes, and liquid smoke. Heat to boiling. Add a little water if it looks thicker than you like.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Susan Rose.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Herb Roasted Venison, Rabbit, and Bacon

herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon

Local, fresh, hearty, delicious. This herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon dish is a new favorite in my house!

Hunting season started a few weeks ago, and none to soon…we were almost completely out of venison. That is, in part, because we discovered this herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon dish and have been making it a lot. It’s perfect for dinner parties…and leftovers. But first, hunting season. It’s fun to see Rick so excited to get back in the tree. For some reason, he wasn’t that interested last year (he went, but his heart wasn’t in it). This year he can’t wait to get back in that tree. Even though he managed to stab himself cleaning his deer on opening day (four stitches), that hasn’t damped his enthusiasm. I’m happy to say our freezer is filling up. I am hoping he also puts out a few rabbit traps so we can keep eating this dish. And that he stops by our favorite small farm, Chicama Run, to pick up the bacon. My mouth is watering at the thought.

One of the things I like about this recipe is that it’s really very versatile. We’ve used pumpkin or trumpet squash, white potatoes and sweet potatoes, and no potatoes at all. I suppose if you didn’t have rabbit or venison, you could use chicken and lamb instead. I haven’t tried that, but maybe I will. It’s all good! Mouthwatering, feed me NOW good. I will say, use really good bacon. It makes a huge difference.

herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon

Be prepared–this dish smells so good while you’re cooking it, you may start eating before it gets to the table.

: Herb Roasted Venison, Rabbit, and Bacon

: This takes comfort food to a whole new level


  • 1 rabbit (about 2 lbs if you’re in Virginia), cut into pieces, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 lb venison, cubed
  • 4 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 small pumpkin, cubed or 4 cups of trumpet squash, cubed
  • 12 to 24 cloves garlic
  • 6 Tbs olive oil
  • 8 oz. slab bacon, cut into cubes
  • 6 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves OR 2 Tbs dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • coarse salt, to taste, optional
  • 6 sprigs rosemary, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes, pumpkin, and garlic cloves in a large roasting pan (I use a stoneware roasting dish).
  3. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake for 30 mins.
  4. While the potatoes, pumpkin, and garlic are roasting, combine the bacon and 2 Tbs of the oil in a large skillet, and place over low heat. Cook just until the bacon begins to wilt. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set it aside.
  5. Saute the rabbit and venison in batches (don’t crowd the skillet, otherwise they won’t brown evenly), setting the pieces aside as they are browned.
  6. Reserve 2 Tbs of the pan drippings.
  7. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and reduce the heat to 350.
  8. Add the rabbit, venison, rosemary, pepper, coarse salt, reserved pan drippings, and remaining 3 Tbs of oil to the roasting pan. Toss thoroughly, and return the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over the top, and bake until the meat is tender and the vegetables are golden, another 20 minutes or so.
  10. Arrange the mixture on a warmed platter, and garnish with the rosemary sprigs.

To make this paleo friendly, simply omit the potatoes and use your favorite root vegetable instead. This is great with celery root or sunchokes.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)

Diet type: Paleo friendly (with slight modification)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Susan Rose.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Venison Brisket Recipe

venison brisket recipe

Brisket is one of my favorite childhood dishes. This venison brisket recipe is especially great on a cold day.

It’s a cold weekend here in Virginia, and we’ve got some new friends coming over for dinner tonight. I’ve got several roasts to use, so I thought I’d make a lovely venison brisket recipe tonight.

I’m not sure the cut of meat I’m using is technically a brisket. But it does come from a buck, which means it’s a little tougher than I normally like. If I’m not making chili from buck meat, then I make brisket—or any recipe that call for marinating the meat.

Why is the marinating an important part of this venison brisket recipe? Because one of the things that makes meat tough is a lot of connective tissue. If you want the meat to be tender, you have to do something to break that tissue down. Braising meat—cooking it in liquid for a long time is one good method. Marinating is another.

What you put in the marinade is really very versatile. But recently I’ve discovered the wonders of sparking apple cider. This was an accidental discovery—I needed a marinade one day and didn’t have anything else. It was one of those happy accidental discoveries. The apple pairs so beautifully with the venison meat. It’s like they were made for each other.

Enjoy this venison brisket recipe with roasted potatoes and green beans. It’s a wonderful winter dinner!

Venison Brisket Recipe


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 boneless venison brisket (3 to 6 pounds)


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.
  2. In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except the venison brisket. Add the onions and mix well.
  3. Place the venison brisket in the marinade and let marinate for at least four hours (preferably over night, especially if this is a buck roast).
  4. Preheat the oven to 250°
  5. Place venison brisket in a roasting pan and add 3 cups of the sauce.
  6. Cover and bake at 250° for 2 to 4 hours or until tender (depending on how large the piece of meat is), basting occasionally.
  7. To serve, thinly slice across the grain.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 to 4 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6 to 12

Copyright © Susan Rose.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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