Silver Sage Venison Chili

Silver Sage Caterers, founded by Greg Cornell and me back in the early ’90’s, received more requests for the chili recipe than any other items we prepared. Leftovers have been auctioned off at dinners we catered for sporting groups like the California Waterfowl Association. For our signature beans, we use chunks of sirloin and linguica sausage. We substitute cubed venison shoulder for beef for this version. If you can’t find linguica, use andouille or any good-quality smoked medium-hot sausage. If your sausage does not release a good bit of oil when cooked, you should add some vegetable oil to help brown the venison. I like to serve this with warm flour tortillas. It is important to stew the venison until tender. To do so, you may need to add some more diced tomato or salsa so that there is sufficient liquid to keep the meat moist while cooking.

Silver Sage Venison Chili


  • 1 pound linguica sausage diced (chorizo or wild boar can be substituted)
  • 2 pound venison shoulder roast trimmed of excess fat and gristle and then cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 green bell peppers seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely diced
  • 1 quart canned diced tomato with juice
  • 1 cup canned diced roasted green chiles
  • 1 quart green chile salsa or substitute tomato salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano flakes
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans drained
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cups fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt pepper and Tabasco to taste


  • In a large stockpot over medium heat, add linguica and cook until lightly browned.
  • Add venison and brown evenly.
  • Add next 4 ingredients and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add diced tomato and next 5 ingredients and simmer until venison is tender. It will take 2 to 3 hours.
  • Add additional salsa or tomato if necessary to keep meat moist while cooking.
  • When meat is just tender, add beans, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cilantro. Heat to warm beans. If you want to thicken the chili, add additional tomato paste as necessary.
  • Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco.


  1. Wes on February 10, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Can you use slow cocker for the venison chili. I will be using caribou.

    • Scott Leysath on February 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      You bet!

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