Venison with Cowboy Beans

Venison with Cowboy Beans

  • Duration

    Overnight, +3 hours

  • Serves

    4
Chef’s notes

Beans are an American staple. They first emerged as a foundational crop for Indigenous people all throughout the continent, and eventually became an essential food of the Old West. These starchy legumes were readily available, easily transported, and packed with protein. They made up the bulk of a traveling cowboy’s ration on cattle drives. Chuckwagon favorites like chili, refried beans, and bean soup remain iconic recipes today.

Here’s a recipe that harkens back to bygone days of the American West, and you don’t even have to be a cowboy to enjoy it. The beans are tasty on their own, but throwing in a venison roast to slow cook alongside them makes for a delicious, protein-packed meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. venison roast, boneless
  • ½ lb. dried pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus extra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil/lard, plus extra
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ½ cup light stock or water
  • Diced jalapeño, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Cornbread, optional

Special equipment

Dutch oven

Preparation

  1. The night before, cover beans in water with 2 inches extra on top. The next day, drain and rinse. Place beans in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven and cover with 3 inches of water, along with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 bay leaves, and one halved onion. Simmer for 1 hour until beans are tender, but not falling apart. Then discard onion and bay leaves, drain beans, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Season venison roast well with salt. Clean out the Dutch oven and heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard over medium-high heat. When the fat shimmers, brown venison roast on all sides and then set aside.
  3. Lower heat to medium. Add more oil to the pot if needed and sauté sliced onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Next, add cooked beans, green chilies, diced tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, thyme, ½ cup of stock, and jalapeño.
  4. Nestle the venison roast into the beans and bring to a simmer. Then cover and transfer the Dutch oven to a 325°F oven. Braise for 2 to 3 hours or until venison becomes tender, flipping the roast halfway through. Season beans to taste. Slice roast before serving with cornbread.
Chef’s notes

Beans are an American staple. They first emerged as a foundational crop for Indigenous people all throughout the continent, and eventually became an essential food of the Old West. These starchy legumes were readily available, easily transported, and packed with protein. They made up the bulk of a traveling cowboy’s ration on cattle drives. Chuckwagon favorites like chili, refried beans, and bean soup remain iconic recipes today.

Here’s a recipe that harkens back to bygone days of the American West, and you don’t even have to be a cowboy to enjoy it. The beans are tasty on their own, but throwing in a venison roast to slow cook alongside them makes for a delicious, protein-packed meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. venison roast, boneless
  • ½ lb. dried pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus extra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil/lard, plus extra
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ½ cup light stock or water
  • Diced jalapeño, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Cornbread, optional

Special equipment

Dutch oven

Preparation

  1. The night before, cover beans in water with 2 inches extra on top. The next day, drain and rinse. Place beans in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven and cover with 3 inches of water, along with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 bay leaves, and one halved onion. Simmer for 1 hour until beans are tender, but not falling apart. Then discard onion and bay leaves, drain beans, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Season venison roast well with salt. Clean out the Dutch oven and heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard over medium-high heat. When the fat shimmers, brown venison roast on all sides and then set aside.
  3. Lower heat to medium. Add more oil to the pot if needed and sauté sliced onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Next, add cooked beans, green chilies, diced tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, thyme, ½ cup of stock, and jalapeño.
  4. Nestle the venison roast into the beans and bring to a simmer. Then cover and transfer the Dutch oven to a 325°F oven. Braise for 2 to 3 hours or until venison becomes tender, flipping the roast halfway through. Season beans to taste. Slice roast before serving with cornbread.
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Save this recipe

Venison with Cowboy Beans

Recipe by: Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley
Venison with Cowboy Beans
  • Duration

    Overnight, +3 hours

  • Serves

    4
Chef’s notes

Beans are an American staple. They first emerged as a foundational crop for Indigenous people all throughout the continent, and eventually became an essential food of the Old West. These starchy legumes were readily available, easily transported, and packed with protein. They made up the bulk of a traveling cowboy’s ration on cattle drives. Chuckwagon favorites like chili, refried beans, and bean soup remain iconic recipes today.

Here’s a recipe that harkens back to bygone days of the American West, and you don’t even have to be a cowboy to enjoy it. The beans are tasty on their own, but throwing in a venison roast to slow cook alongside them makes for a delicious, protein-packed meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. venison roast, boneless
  • ½ lb. dried pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus extra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil/lard, plus extra
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ½ cup light stock or water
  • Diced jalapeño, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Cornbread, optional

Special equipment

Dutch oven

Preparation

  1. The night before, cover beans in water with 2 inches extra on top. The next day, drain and rinse. Place beans in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven and cover with 3 inches of water, along with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 bay leaves, and one halved onion. Simmer for 1 hour until beans are tender, but not falling apart. Then discard onion and bay leaves, drain beans, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Season venison roast well with salt. Clean out the Dutch oven and heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard over medium-high heat. When the fat shimmers, brown venison roast on all sides and then set aside.
  3. Lower heat to medium. Add more oil to the pot if needed and sauté sliced onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Next, add cooked beans, green chilies, diced tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, thyme, ½ cup of stock, and jalapeño.
  4. Nestle the venison roast into the beans and bring to a simmer. Then cover and transfer the Dutch oven to a 325°F oven. Braise for 2 to 3 hours or until venison becomes tender, flipping the roast halfway through. Season beans to taste. Slice roast before serving with cornbread.