Venison Enchiladas

Venison Enchiladas

14 melted cheese
This recipe can be made with just about any game animal you’ve got.  I’ve made enchiladas from whitetail and axis deer, beef, pheasant chicken, and duck.  Any kind of deer or antelope would be great.  If you are using a bird, such as a pheasant, I would roast it whole, coat it in oil (olive, vegetable, whatever), salt and pepper, and put it in the over at 350˚F til done.  Let it cool, then pick the meat off the bone, and substitute in for the cooked venison.

 

1 chile powder

Mix up your various chile (with an “e”, not an “i”) powders.

2 saute onions garlic

Saute your onions and garlic.

3 pre blend

Add in your chile powder, cumin, cocoa, then your tomato sauce and tomatoes…

4 blend

and BLEND!

6 bagged sauce

I actually put mine in a Food Saver bag, and vacuum sealed it, for easy transport to the deer lease.  You could also freeze it at this point.

7  browned venison

Brown up ground venison with your onions.

8 frying tortilla

Very quickly, soften up your tortillas in hot oil.

9 fill enchilada

Add in your meat.

10 rolled enchiladas

Roll them up and place them in a pan.

11 ladle sauce

Ladle the sauce over the top of your enchiladas.

12 sauced enchiladas

Lookin’ good!

13 cheesed enchiladas

Sprinkle on some cheese.

14 melted cheese

Melt the cheese in the oven.

15 final plate

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.  Topped with some guacamole, green onions, and cilantro.  Pardon the presentation, we were at the deer lease.

Ingredients

4-5 pounds ground venison (can substitute ground beef)
1.5 pounds cheddar cheese, shredded
½  white onion, diced
2 Tbsp chile powder
1  tsp salt
1  tsp black pepper
2  cups vegetable oil
50 pack of corn tortillas

 

Sauce

2  (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1  (29 oz) can tomato sauce
½  white onion, diced
3  large cloves garlic, minced
¼  cup chile powder (guajillo, pasilla, anaheim, ancho, chipotle, Spanish smoked paprika, chile de arbol)
1  tsp cumin
1  tsp cocoa powder
1  cup chicken stock (can use water)
1 tsp salt
½  tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

 

Since most of your flavor will be coming from the chile powder, I like to use good the good stuff.  I went to Central Market and bought bulk chile powders.  All in all, it only cost about 5 bucks and I had a couple cups worth, most of which I used to make venison chorizo, but that is for another post.  Anyways, note that I bought chile powder, and not chili powder.  Chili powder contains chile powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder among other things.  While there is nothing wrong with it, I like to be able to control each ingredient, and I like to buy a variety of chile powders.

To start the sauce, sauté the onions in the oil for 6-8 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  I then like to add the chile powder, cumin, and cocoa and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Then, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and salt.  You can also substitute 5 pounds of fresh tomatoes for the canned if you have them.  Cook the sauce on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  Then, take your immersion blender (aka stick blender), I use this one from Cuisinart, and blend it until smooth.  You may want to add a bit more broth or water at this time if it has thickened up too much.

In the meantime, heat up a couple tablespoons of oil, and sauté ½ of a chopped white onion for a couple minutes.  Add in the ground venison, sauté 10 minutes, until completely cooked.  Add in 2 Tbsp chile powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.  Set aside to cool.

To assemble the enchiladas, you will want to have a large casserole dish or something similar ready.  Since I was at our deer lease kitchen, I was using two large disposable aluminum trays.  The first step is to lightly fry the tortillas.  This will make them pliable.  Heat up 2 cups of oil in a pan, and fry the tortillas for about 10 seconds, then pat the tortilla dry.  Working quickly, spoon a generous amount of ground venison into the tortilla, and roll it up, placing it in the dish seam side down.  Continue this until you have either filled up you dish or run out of ingredients.  Then, ladle the sauce over the enchiladas.  You want them completely covered, but not swimming in sauce.  Top them off with shredded cheese and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and delicious.

Note: this makes two large pans of enchiladas, close to 50.  Cut this recipe in half, or even quarter it if necessary.  I started to run out of meat, so I ended up making about 6 or 8 cheese enchiladas as well.  They were all excellent!  Enjoy!