Homemade enchiladas are one of the best ways to make use of ground venison. These are topped with Tex-Mex chili gravy, a red chile sauce influenced by authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s an easy, delicious recipe the whole family will love.
Time to make
1 lb. ground venison
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
12-14 corn tortillas (6”)
12 oz. cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
Oil for cooking and frying
1/4 cup oil or lard
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
2 1/2 tbsp. Ancho or red chili powder
2 tsp. grated yellow onion (1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. grated garlic (1 tsp. dried)
2 cups venison or chicken stock
Also works with
Any ground or shredded meat
Sauté Pan, casserole dish
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish or cast iron pan.
- Make the venison filling. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown the ground venison. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Set the cooked venison aside in a large bowl.
- In the same sauté pan, add another drizzle of cooking oil if needed. Sauté the onions until soft and golden in color. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer to the same bowl with the venison and mix.
- Make the chili gravy. Reduce the heat on the burner to medium. Give the pan a minute to cool off if needed. There shouldn’t be much oil in the pan—if there is, pour it out and add in ¼ of a cup of oil or lard. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk constantly until the flour is smooth and there are no lumps. Cook for a few minutes until the roux is lightly golden.
- Stir in the grated onion and garlic and cook briefly to release aromas.
- Slowly pour in the stock while whisking constantly to keep the gravy smooth. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. The chili powder will immediately thicken the gravy, and it should have the consistency of tomato sauce. Turn the heat off and remove the gravy from the burner. Keep in mind that the gravy will thicken slightly when baked and as it cools. Add a splash of water if needed.
- Fry the tortillas. Set a separate sauté pan or griddle over a burner on high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil or lard to the bottom. When the oil starts to sputter, use tongs to lay a tortilla down for 15 seconds, flip, and fry the opposite side for another 15 seconds. The tortilla should bubble up when frying, but remain soft and pliable. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to soak up the grease. Fry each tortilla and add more oil as needed.
- Assemble the enchiladas. Pour chili gravy across the bottom of the casserole dish or cast iron pan in a thin layer. Place a small spoonful of chili gravy onto a tortilla, and scoop in some venison. Top with a little cheese and roll up the tortilla. Place the stuffed tortilla seam-side down inside of the baking dish. Do this to each tortilla until you have filled the casserole dish. If you have leftover meat you can mix it with the chili gravy and pour it over the top of the tortillas. There should be enough gravy to generously coat. Top the enchiladas with a handful of cheese and cover with foil.
- Bake the enchiladas for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately with beans and rice.