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Shiner Bock Battered Venison Chile Relleno

Shiner Bock Battered Venison Chile Relleno

By: Mike Reeber

For those of you who know me, then you know that I’m a HUGE fan of the poblano pepper! To me, they’re up a notch from any bell pepper in terms of flavor and best of all, they’re great smoked, grilled or fried. So, it’s no surprise that this is the go to pepper when assembling a great chile relleno. One of my best friends once told me that when it comes to judging a Tex-Mex restaurant, order their chile relleno and see how they do. It should have a crispy crust, a flavorful filling and the pepper should be cooked just right to where it’s not mushy. Recently, I took on this challenge for myself to come up with the perfect version of venison chile relleno.

Now, I’ll admit, you can stuff these peppers with anything that you want and they would be awesome, but I just happened to pull a package of ground venison out of the freezer from last season, so that’s the direction that I went.

The real key to making this recipe is to have a really crispy coating on the outside. Not crispy like fried catfish, which is usually made with cornmeal, but crispy like fried chicken. To get the perfect crust, I use a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch in the batter. This will give you a super crunchy outside coating to cut through.


  • 4 Poblano peppers
  • 1 pound of ground venison
  • 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 TBSP of ground cumin
  • 2 TBSP of chili powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 TBSP of olive oil
  • 4 wooden skewers
  • Vegetable oil for frying(about a ½ inch depending on the size on your skillet)

Shiner Bock Beer Batter Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup off all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP of cornstarch
  • 1 ½ -2 ½ cups of Shiner Bock beer(enough to turn the batter into a liquid, but not too thin, something slightly thicker than a pancake batter)
  • 2 TBSP of your favorite steak seasoning, mine is Salty Steer from Austin


To start, blister the outside of the poblano peppers either on a grill or on top of a gas burner in your kitchen. Keep them moving so that all sides are blistered nicely, this usually takes about 10 minutes, so be patient! Once all of the peppers are nearly all black on the outside, put into a plastic bag(a produce bag from the supermarket works well) and add a splash of water from the sink. Tie the bag and set on the counter. The water from the tap will help to create some steam, which will make peeling the skin off of the peppers much easier.

Next, it’s time to make the filling. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the venison over medium-high heat, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the venison becomes browned. Once browned, remove from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet and add the garlic and onion and saute for 5-10 minutes, or until the onion starts to look translucent. At this point, return the venison to the skillet and add the chilli powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Now, back to the peppers! Remove the peppers from the bag, and peel off the skin, which at this point should be pretty soft. Once you’ve removed the skin from all of the peppers(they don’t have to be perfect), make a lengthwise slice through one side of the pepper, which you’ll use to add the venison inside. Once opened, remove the seeds. Add a good scoop of the venison mixture, as well as pepper jack cheese to the inside of the pepper. You’ll want to add enough to fill up the pepper, but not too much to where you can’t close it back up to fry. Once all of your peppers are stuffed, seal them all shut with a toothpick or skewer down the middle. I like to use a larger skewer, since it’s less likely to break during the frying process and they’re way easier to remove before serving.
When you’re ready to fry, add about a half inch of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium high heat. You don’t need too much oil, simply because you’ll end up flipping the peppers over to make sure each side gets cooked.
To make the batter, add the flour, cornstarch, beer and seasoning to a bowl. Whisk all of the ingredients well until everything is incorporated well. Dunk each poblano into the batter, making sure that each of them is coated nicely. Add each pepper (in small batches) to the hot oil and fry until all sides are golden brown.
Once removed from the hot oil, carefully remove the wooden skewers. Serve over salsa and top with torn cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.