What’s for Dinner….It’s Oñates!

Growing up as a young lad, one of my favorite meals my mom would make was called oñates! Oñates is chile meat or cubed up steak or roast from any wild game. In this recipe, I used white-tailed deer meat. It is battered in red chile powder and flour mixture with seasoning and fried to a crisp on the outside, but still moist and tender on the inside. To say that it is awesome is an understatement! It is very easy to make too. Here is how to make this quick and easy meal.


• ½ pound of cubed up and clean wild game meat of your choice such as antelope, deer, oryx, elk, etc. This should feed two people very easily. Cut off all of the silver skin and fat from the meat.
• ½ cup of flour
• 2 tbsp of red chile powder (or a bit more if you want it spicier)
• 2 pinches of black pepper
• 3 pinches of garlic salt
• Olive oil (or your choice of cooking oil)


Cube up a roast or steak into bite size pieces, approximately ½ lb. of meat. Take the time to trim silver skin, fat, etc. so the meat is cleaned up nicely.

Next, mix up a ½ cup of flour, 2 tbsp. of red chile powder (or more if you like it a little spicier), 2 pinches of black pepper and 3 pinches of garlic salt in another bowl. Once mixed, put the ½ lb. of cubed up and clean meat into the flour/chile/seasoning mixture and coat the meat well.

Coat the bottom of a medium-sized nonstick pan or cast-iron pan with cooking oil. Don’t overdo it on the cooking oil, but use enough to ensure the flour mixture does not soak up all of the oil. Coat the bottom of the pan well. Heat the oil on medium heat. Sprinkle some of the extra flour mixture (a pinch) in the oil as it becomes hot. Once the flour begins to bubble as if it is being cooked, the oil should be hot enough to cook the floured meat.

Once the outside begins to crisp I will usually pull one of the bigger pieces out and cut into it to make sure it is cooked to medium or more. Cooking times can vary a little, but this is a very quick and easy meal.

While it is cooking I will usually warm up a can of vegetables, like peas, to go along with it and serve a nice green salad as well. Serves two.

Have fun with this recipe and please take someone who is new to hunting into the outdoors in the future!

Recipe and photos by Storm Usrey.

About Storm Usrey

Storm Usrey is the Conservation Education Manager for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.