venison enchiladas with sides

Recipe: Venison Enchiladas

For something different this week, we found this recipe for venison enchiladas. If you don’t have time to make your own enchilada sauce, there are some decent ones in stores these days. Side items aren’t listed here, but some black or pinto beans, corn on the cob, or spanish rice would be yummy as accompaniments to this recipe–or serve as shown with salsa, guacamole, black beans, and yellow rice.

Venison Enchiladas

courtesy of

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 20 min
Cook: 40 minYield: 4 to 6 servingsLevel: Intermediate


2 pounds cubed venison stew meat
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
1/2 cup reduced chicken stock
5 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
12 corn tortillas
4 tablespoons canola oil

 Red enchilada sauce, recipe follows

Red enchilada sauce:

1 red bell pepper
2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
3/4 cup chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate


Heat oil in a large heavy skillet until almost smoking. Carefully add venison meat, chopped onion and chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper and brown the meat, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, brown sugar and cilantro. Deglaze this with the chicken stock. Removed from heat and allow to cool. Stir in 3 cups of the shredded cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Soften 12 corn tortillas in a microwave oven, wrapped in a damp cloth for 10 to 20 seconds on high, until soft and pliable. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of venison mix into center of tortilla and roll. Place rolled enchiladas into a lightly oiled baking dish, seam side down. Smother with enchilada sauce and sprinkle remaining colby-jack cheese, to taste. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.

Red enchilada sauce:

Flame-roast bell pepper until skin is blistered, place in a bowl and wrap with plastic. Allow to cool, then peel, seed, and chop. In a heavy bottom skillet, heat canola oil. Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onions are lightly caramelized. Add tortillas torn into pieces. Add chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, pepper and salt to release oils in the spices, about 1 minute using care not to burn the spices.

Add chicken stock, coffee and orange juice concentrate. Add chocolate, chopped into pieces. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully blend smooth in a processor or blender in batches (sauce should be smooth but still thick). When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth. Adjust the consistency with additional chicken stock if necessary.

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