Hi Jackie, could you possibly pass on your favorite deer meat recipe for chili and stew??? I’m going to attempt to work on my frozen leg of deer this weekend, and I’d love to try your recipes. I’d like to can it as well, so processing times would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for always answering my many questions.

Andrea Del Gardo
Myrtle Beach, SC

Sure Andrea, I’ll give you a recipe but I’ll warn you that I’m NOT a recipe cook; I add this and that and taste it along the way until it’s right. But these recipes will put you in the ball park. Unless you have a meat grinder made for grinding fresh meat (NOT the little “meat grinders” people have in their kitchen drawer), your chili will be chunky chili and that’s pretty good. If you do have a larger meat grinder and want to make burger chili, here’s a hint: meat grinds and cuts much better when it is still partly frozen; not hard but with ice crystals still in it.


5 pounds ground or diced venison
2 C chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
12 C canned tomatoes with juice
3 C dry or canned kidney beans
1/2 C chili powder (as hot as you like it)
1 1/2Tbsp salt]
1 hot red pepper, chopped or ground fine (I like chipotle because of the smoky rich taste)

If using dry beans, rinse beans, put in twice as much water as beans in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, then let stand, covered for 2 hours. If using canned beans, proceed at once.

Brown meat in a large heavy pot. Drain off excess fat, if any. Add onions and garlic and stir while cooking until they are tender. Add remaining ingredients, including drained beans. (Note: if you like less acidic chili, add brown sugar to taste.) Ladle hot chili into hot jars leaving 1 inch headroom. Wipe rim clean, place previously simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If you live at an altitude above 1,000 feet, consult your canning manual for directions in increasing your pressure to suit your altitude, if necessary.


5 pounds cubed stew meat, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp oil
3 quarts cubed peeled potatoes
2 quarts sliced or chunk carrots
3C chopped celery
3 C chopped onions
2 quarts tomato sauce (optional)
1 1/2 Tbp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
spices to taste

Brown meat in oil. Combine meat, vegetables and seasonings in a large saucepot and cover with either water or tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; do not boil further. Ladle hot stew into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headroom. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe rim of jar clean, place hot, previously simmered lid on jar and screw down ring firmly tight. Process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. (See altitude information above.)

If the “deer leg” you have is a shoulder, it should give you enough for either one of these recipes. Not quite enough? Just use less meat or round out the amount with beef. If it is a hind quarter, you’ll have much more meat; enough to make a batch of each, or either doubled. The best of luck! — Jackie

Just letting you know we took your advice and canned meat with GREAT success. Easy, just like you said it would be and we had great results. Thanks for the encouragment.

katherine carter
coeur d alene, ID 83814

I’m so glad you had good luck with your first attempt at canning meat.  I wish everyone knew what we know!  Everyone loves my canned meat, especially venison! — Jackie