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Timber 2 Table - Venison Green Chile Caldillo

This traditional south-of-the-border stew is both simple and delicious when you use your slow cooker

Venison Green Chile Caldillo

30 Min

Prep Time

300 Min

Cook Time



Easy, Medium


Caldillo is a classic Mexican stew that can be made with beef, pork, chicken or, in this case, venison. The meat gets browned, then slow cooked in broth with tomatillos, diced peppers, onion and spices. The result is a perfect meal when sprinkled with a bit of cheese and served with some warm tortillas.

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Your slow cooker makes this traditional stew easy to prepare.

The fresh peppers in the recipe control the amount of spice you taste in the finished product. The poblanos are mild; the jalapeño adds a bit of heat. If you want it spicier, add two jalapeños or even a diced Scotch bonnet if you really like to sweat.

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Control the heat by quantity and type of hot peppers included.

You can find the fresh tomatillos at most markets this time of year. They might come with the papery husk still on when you buy them. Simply peel it off and discard before chopping.

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Peel the tomatillos before quartering them.

Roasting the poblanos on the grill or under the broiler adds flavor to the dish. Simply heat the grill to high or turn on the broiler of your oven. Place the peppers directly on the grill rack or in a sheet pan if using the oven. Roast the peppers for 10-15 minutes or until the skin starts to blacken and char. Immediately transfer the peppers to a zip-style or paper bag and close it up to allow them to steam for a few minutes. Once they’re cool enough to touch, the skin will easily pull away. Remove it, along with the seeds and stems, and chop up what remains for the stew. You can do this in advance and store the roasted peppers in the refrigerator for up to a day or two before cooking the stew. Don’t want or don’t have time to roast your own peppers? Simply substitute jarred roasted Hatch Valley green chile peppers. The stew will be just as good

While I love the dish, I don’t always have time to spend hours standing over a simmering pot of stew. Enter the slow cooker. For maximum flavor, I brown the meat before adding it, but everything else can go in as is and the slow cooker will do the work for you.

Start by cutting the venison into stew-sized pieces. Since the meat cooks for a long period of time, any roast will work for this recipe, as will stew meat pieces you might have saved during the processing. Season the meat well on all sides with salt and pepper.

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Cut the venison into bite-sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the stew meat in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. You aren’t trying to fully cook the meat, just get a nice brown color on all sides. Once each batch has browned, remove it from the pan and continue with remaining meat.

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Brown the venison in batches before adding to the slow cooker.

Add the tomatillos, peppers and onion to the slow cooker. Add the meat. Pour in the beef broth and add the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.

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Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 or until the venison is tender.

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Slow cook until the venison is tender and the tomatillos have cooked down.

Check for seasoning. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed. I like to top the stew with crumbled cotija cheese before serving. You can also garnish with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. Serve with warm tortillas.


1 ½ pounds venison stew meat, seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tablespoons oil

1 pound tomatillos, quartered

3-4 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and chopped or a 16-ounce jar of roasted green chile peppers

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 large white onion, chopped

3 cups beef broth

1 tablespoon oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

Crumbled cotija cheese

Warm tortillas

Fresh limes

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