Beardyman’s Venison Chilli…

I’ve been cooking chilli for years – and my recipe has evolved so here’s how I create a delicious venison chilli with rich, sweet smokey flavours over the open fire.

Whilst cooking a chilli for several hours can help the flavours develop, you’d be surprised just how quick you can get from a pile of ingredients to a tasty dish with this quick and easy method.

🌶 Here’s what you’re going to need…

  • 500g of minced venison (you can use lean beef mince if you really must!)
  • 1 x medium to large onion (red, white, spanish – whatever)
  • 1 x red pepper
  • Bunch of Fresh Coriander
  • 4 x garlic cloves
  • Chilli Powder (hot or medium depending on your preference)
  • 1 or 2 fresh birdseye chillies
  • 1 x tinned chopped tomatoes (or about 400gms of chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 x tinned kidney beans (the ones from tescos in chilli sauce work well!)
  • 2 x tablespoon tomato puree
  • Generous “squirt” of tomato ketchup
  • lazy handful of dark chocolate buttons (or simillar)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • To serve…
  • Soured Cream
  • Cheese
  • Sliced, pickled Jalapenos
  • Nachos



    1. Light a fire!
    2. Finely chop the onion
    3. Cut the stalks off the coriander and finely chop them – keep the leaves for dressing at the end
    4. Peel and chop the garlic
    5. Deseed and coarse chop the red pepper
    6. Finely chop the birdseye chilli if you’re using one
    7. Grate some cheese


I usually cook this dish over a wood fire – using the Kadai Cooking Bowl. The great thing about this set up is that you can raise and lower the bowl to get the desired temperature throughout the cooking process.

  1. Add a good splash of oil to the bowl and allow it to heat up
  2. When it’s hot, add the onion, pepper and a good teaspoon of chilli powder – and fry til the onions are softening but not getting crispy – usually 5-10 mins depending on the heat
  3. Add the chopped garlic, chopped coriander stalks and birdseye chilli (if you want HOT!) and fry for a further couple of mins
  4. Add the venison mince and another teaspoon of chilli powder – then keep it moving in the pan – til it’s all browned
  5. Pour in the chopped toms and the kidney beans and give it a good stir – and bring it to the boil
  6. At this point, you want to adjust the bowl so that you can keep things simmering – so just aim for steady small bubbles as you don’t want to burn it now!
  7. Let it cook down for about ten minutes – if you’re stuck for something to do, open a beer – and enjoy the fact you’re cooking outdoors…
  8. Add a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree and a handful of chocolate buttons (trust me!) and a squirt of tomato ketchup (I’ll explain the chocolate and ketchup at the end of this post!) and stir in – then leave to simmer for another 5-10 mins
  9. Taste… you really do need to taste at this stage. If you want it hotter (spicier) add some more chilli powder… If it’s too hot – you shouldn’t be eating chilli!

and that’s it…

To serve, grab a handful of nachos and put them in a bowl then spoon a good dollup of your Venison Chilli on the top. Add a handful of grated cheese, a spoon of soured cream and a good sprinkling of Coriander leaves…

If you want some extra zing – throw on some Jalapenos.

Eat… and Enjoy!

So what’s with the chocolate and ketchup..?

Tinned tomatoes can have a slight metallic taste so the ketchup counteracts this – and the chocolate just makes the “sauce” smooth and rich and pulls the dish together.

Thanks for reading – please tell us how you get on if you try this!