Deer Camp Dinner Diaries

An ‘Old Texan’s’ Venison Chili

An ‘Old Texan’s’ Venison Chili

By Tim H. Martin

Recipe Courtesy of Butch Mize, President of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society.

This is a simple, yet delicious Texas chili (no beans) Buckmasters readers will absolutely love. It’s a perfect way to maximize your ground venison on a cold night! Just click the “Print the Recipe!” button below.


• 2 lbs. ground venison (or beef)

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 28 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes

• 1/4 cup hot chili powder

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• kosher salt, to taste

• 1 cup water

In a Dutch oven, brown meat over medium-high heat. As venison begins to brown, add onions so they absorb the meat flavor. Drain meat and onions well and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and simmer slowly to allow the flavors to meld and the chili to thicken.

Chili wisdom from Butch Mize, former president of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society and Texas Chili Champ.

“There are no right or wrong ways to make chili. Most great chili cooks do not make it the same way twice in a row. This is just a good, basic recipe to please an old Texan when he needs a chili fix. Feel free to dress it up any way you want and then claim the recipe for your own.”

Print The Recipe!


Butch, Will You Marry Me?

– By Tim H. Martin

Sometimes an outdoor writer gets lucky and draws an assignment to a hunting camp with an exceptional cook. Such was the case in December of 2004 when I hunted blackbuck antelope on a manicured operation near Kerrville, Texas, called the Diamond V Ranch.

At the conclusion of the first day’s hunt, all the hunters in camp were summoned to the dining room for an amazing presentation of foods cooked exclusively in cast iron Dutch ovens — even dessert.

The head ranch hand said, “Our cook isn’t just any-old-body; he’s Butch Mize, president of the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society — best dad-burned Dutch oven man in the world.”

I remember thinking the tall, red-headed Texan with colorful suspenders looked exactly like a Dutch oven king should look.

Butch stepped from the kitchen, bowed and announced, “Gentlemen, dinner is served.”

As I gazed at the spread, I smiled, realizing I would not be losing any weight on this trip.

Day after day, the champ spoiled us with his Dutch oven magic, and the week became a blur of feasts: Brie with toasted pecans, cathead biscuits, Mexican hash, cobblers, blackbuck tenderloins, casseroles, pies and this outstanding Texas chili.

On the final day of the trip, I begged Butch for his chili recipe and joked that I would divorce my wife if he would come back to Alabama with me, whereupon he politely declined.

Seems he’d already turned down four proposals that day.

Copyright 2016 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2015 by Buckmasters, Ltd