Deer Enchiladas

Ground deer meat that’s been marinating soaking up flavors of beer, lime, and spices, plus onions, garlic, and several varieties of peppers all rolled in a tortilla and then smothered (not drizzled) in enchilada sauce and cheese (plus a cold beer) equals one filling, satisfying cold-weather meal.

Deer Enchiladas

I’ve been meaning to make enchiladas for awhile now, but they tend to be a bit time-consuming. And lately, our schedules have not allowed too much extra time for complicated meals.

Deer Enchiladaa

But once I started making these and decided to cut out a few steps (the dipping of tortillas into sauce or the frying of tortillas) to make them both easier, less messy, and healthier, I realized they really weren’t too time-consuming…a nice surprise!

And even if they would have taken more time, I think they would have been worth it.  Scrumptious and so filling you don’t want to move afterwards?? Definitely worth it….as long as you DON’T have to move too much afterwards…

Deer Enchiladas

I based the enchilada sauce off of Emeril’s, but I kicked it up a bit with some more spices. I have used his basic recipe in the past, but the extra seasonings really do make it even more flavorful!

And a quick note about the marinade – we tend to always (or almost always unless we don’t plan AT ALL) marinate our deer meat, even when cooking with ground meat. It takes away any obvious gaminess the meat may have. But if your deer has an exceptional flavor, skip the marinade! It will save some time. :)


Deer Enchiladas
Deer Marinade
  • 1 pound ground deer meat
  • ¼ cup beer (I used a nut brown ale)
  • ¼ cup concentrated beef broth
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow or purple onion (I've used both)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Enchilada Meat Mixture
  • 1 pound ground deer meat + marinade
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 small can diced green chiles (I used mild)
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne (optional, just for a bit more kick)
  • ¾ cup enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 flour tortillas (I use both whole wheat and white, even in the same dish)
Enchilada Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Enchilada Sauce
  1. Heat oil in sauce pan until hot.
  2. Add flour and stir until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chili powder and smoked paprika and stir for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add stock, tomato paste, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and sea salt.
  5. Stir until smooth.
  6. Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently.
  7. Turn heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  8. Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
  1. Marinate deer meat for at least 2 hours.
  2. Pour meat into pan with marinade and brown with the added garlic and onions.
  3. After a couple of minutes, add the seasonings along with all of the peppers.
  4. Cook until meat is done and peppers have softened a bit.
  5. Add enchilada sauce and cheese and mix well.
  6. Stir in cilantro.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while assembling enchiladas.
  8. Coat oven proof 9x13 dish with oil or nonstick spray.
  9. Pour just enough of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the dish to cover the bottom.
  10. Place a big spoonful of meat mixture in each tortilla, roll tightly, and place seam side down. (I was able to fill 9 tortillas, but if I would have used slightly less mixture, I could have easily fit 10 tortillas in the dish...or you can really fill them up and use only 8 tortillas!)
  11. Once tortillas are all aligned in dish, pour most of the remaining enchilada sauce (I ended up having about ¼ cup extra, but I had already poured A LOT of sauce over them) over the tortillas and top with remaining cheese, about 1.5 cups.
  12. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
  13. Top with avocado, sour cream, and/or cilantro.


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