Venison Crunchwrap

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I’ll admit, I love cheap, nasty fast food. Taco Bell was always one of my favorite late night, after work, eating-under-the-influence meals. The combination of crunchy, oozy, salty, sweet, and spicy was spot-on after long days grinding away on the line. I don’t remember the last time I was at a Taco Bell, or any fast food place for that matter, but this dish is born from the memories of late night drive thrus, extra packets of hot sauce, and cheap beer.

The recipe for the beans or meat can be changed to whatever you prefer. We often take canned venison and simmer it with some canned green chilis, or brown some spicy mexican style deer chorizo. Sometimes, we’ll thinly slice leftover roasts, or shred some braised shanks. The key to this dish is the combination of textures and varying intensities of flavors. It’s a portable, multilayered taco dip. 

The method for the queso is also highly adaptable. Any melty cheese combined with sodium citrate and some liquid will yield a cheese sauce that will retain its ooziness for longer. Spicy roasted hatch peppers & Monterey jack cheese, or smoked fatali peppers with mozzarella all work. Mix and match to get your favorite queso.


Venison Crunchwrap

Prep time: 6 hours

Serves: 6-8



Chili and roasted red pepper braised venison

2 lb venison stew meat

1.5 medium onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

7 oz chipotle peppers, canned

12 oz can of roasted red peppers, drained

½ tbsp cumin

½ tsp coriander

1 bay leaf

1 quart dark stock, (goose, venison, or beef)

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Season venison with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat with a tablespoon or two of oil and heavily brown the meat on all sides. Add to crockpot. Using the same pan you used to brown the meat, add onion and garlic and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the chipotles, roasted red peppers, and spices to the pan, and cook for 10 minutes on low to reduce. Transfer to crockpot. Pour the stock into your cooking pan and allow it to simmer for a minute, scraping off any browned bits of meat from the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour into crockpot. Set on low for 4-6 hours until tender.

Refried Beans

2 cans pinto beans

1 medium onion diced

3 cloves garlic

¼ c duck fat or lard

Sweat onion and garlic with duck fat until fragrant, then add beans, and season lightly with salt. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Season to taste.

Queso Sauce

1 tbsp sodium citrate

1 ½ cup grated monterey jack cheese

½ cup milk

3 jalapenos, seeded, minced

In a sauce pan, combine sodium citrate and enough water to just cover bottom of pan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve sodium citrate. Add in cheese and milk and simmer gently until smooth, stirring often. Add in jalapenos, stir, and remove from heat.


Extra large flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Cooked meat

Refried beans


Optional- salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Fry corn tortillas until crispy and brown on both sides. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Place an extra large flour tortilla on work surface and put a scoop of refried beans in the center. Top with a fried tortilla. Layer the fried tortilla with meat, queso and any toppings you want. Fold the edges of the flour tortilla towards the center in an overlapping pattern. Toast in a large saute pan on medium/low heat with a small amount of oil. Serve warm with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and hot sauce.