Benne’s Veni Chili


Not only Cathy cooks at the Bennett household, Mike does as well! You can follow Mike’s recipe which uses venison, or use chuck, tip or round steak if you prefer. This recipe takes several hours to make, but produces enough to freeze and enjoy on chilly fall/ winter days. We’re talking weekend cooking project here, folks, but well worth the effort

Benne’s Veni Chili


  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces (use Neuske's if you can find it)
  • 3 pounds venison rump cut into stew 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2-8 tablespoons chili powder, to taste (Mike uses 8, and yes it does have a kick!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • kosher salt & ground pepper to taste
  • 4-6 celery stacks chopped
  • 1 each chopped green, red and yellow peppers
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 cup warm beer (cheap stuff) - feel free to drink the rest while its still cold
  • 2-3 cups beef broth, divided (for combining with cornmeal and, as needed, for desired thickness)
  • 2 - 4 oz. cans, mild chopped green chilies
  • 2 large cans whole stewed tomatoes (chop up to desired size)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili (or more, to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 - 16 oz. can chili beans (if desired)
  • top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese, if desired


  • Cook bacon to medium, drain on paper towels and reserve bacon grease.
  • In a large soup pot, add bacon grease and brown venison in 2 batches (Mike says only a pansy uses vegetable or olive oil.) Cook venison on all sides until no longer pick. Set aside.
  • Brown ground beef in same large soup pot.
  • Add bacon, browned venison, onion, chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, celery and peppers to ground beef. Add water to barley cover ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1-1/12 hours or until meat is almost tender, adding water as needed.
  • While the meat is cooking , add the oregano to the warm beer & set aside.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups beef broth, chopped green chilies, tomatoes, crushed red chili, tomato paste, vinegar and oregano-beer mixture to the pot. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir cornmeal into 1/2 cup beef broth, then stir into chili.
  • Add beans (if using) and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until meat is very tender.
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired


Michael Bennett creation!

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