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Red & Green Verde Venison Enchiladas

This recipe is for my friends Matt and Scott. Matt asked me a few months ago if I had a good recipe for venison. Sadly, I didn’t, as I’ve never cooked with venison meat. Shortly after my good friend Scott sent me home from a BBQ with ground venison from his hunting expeditions. What are the odds?

There are two variations: a green sauce with goat cheese and a New Mexico red sauce with chocolate and cinnamon. The green sauce was a complete cheat job as I doctored up a can on Goya green enchilada sauce. The red sauce is a culmination of many recipes I researched and many adjustments made when cooking the sauce.

I also snuck in some spinach and cremini mushrooms into the filling… I had them on hand and I’m always looking for a way to sneak in some veggies where they are unexpected.

Served with my favorite cabbage slaw.

Put leftover enchilada sauce in the freezer… I see a Tortilla Soup coming from my leftovers soon.


For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground venison, or beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, medium cube
  • 1 – 12 ounce package chooped spinach, squeezed dry
  • 1 – 8 ounce package shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • Red enchilada sauce, recipe follows
  • Green enchilada sauce, recipe follows


Heat oil in a large heavy. Add venison meat, chopped onion and chopped garlic, season with salt and pepper and brown the meat, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are brown. Add chili powder and cilantro. Deglaze this with the chicken stock. Removed from heat and allow to cool.

For the Red enchilada sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup New Mexico chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 – 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce chocolate
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon


In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder, tomato paste, onion and cook for a minute. Add stock, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and chocolate. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings.

For the Green enchilada sauce:

  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jar green Goya enchilada sauce


In a medium saucepan heat 1 tsp canola oil, add onion, garlic and cumin. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Add Goya enchilada sauce and cilantro. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Soften corn tortillas in a microwave oven, wrapped in a damp cloth for 20 seconds on high, until soft and pliable. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of venison mix into center of tortilla and top with cheese and roll. Place rolled enchiladas into a lightly oiled baking dish, seam side down.

For Green Enchiladas: Smother with green enchilada sauce and sprinkle with colby-jack cheese and goat cheese crumbles.

For Red Enchiladas: Smother with red enchilada sauce and sprinkle with colby-jack cheese.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes.


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