A Versatile Beer Simmered Chili Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 – tablespoons olive oil

1 – Medium White onion minced

1 – jalapeno minced or*

1 – serrano pepper minced or *

1 – habanero pepper minced*

2 – cloves garlic minced

For Chili Paste

5 – medium Ancho Chile pods (about ½ ounce), toasted and ground**

5 – medium New Mexico Chile pods (about ¾ ounce), toasted and ground

5 – Chile De Arbol pods, toasted and ground

3 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted in dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 4 minutes) and ground

(preground cumin may be substituted if you aren’t into fresh herbs, though I don’t recommend it)

3 – teaspoons dried oregano

1 – teaspoon black pepper

½ – teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ – teaspoon white pepper

2 – teaspoon paprika

1 – tablespoon Worcestershire

1 – Btl. Beer (Chile Beers preferred) ***

3/4 quart homemade or low-salt beef broth

2 14-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

RECIPE:

1) Mix chili powders, cumin, and oregano in small bowl and stir in ½ cup water to form thick paste; set aside

2) Sautee onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for 8-10 minsor until onion is translucent. Add pepper of choice and sautee an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the peppers soften. Add garlic and sautee another 5 mins. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in an 8 quart or larger Dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear the beef cubes until browned and crusty on two sides, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the browned beef to a bowl. During searing, it’s fine if the pan bottom gets quite dark, but if it smells like it’s burning, reduce the heat a bit. If the pan ever gets dry, add a little more oil.

3) Once all the beef is seared and set aside, add the onions and peppers to the pan, along with cumin and all ingredients except chili paste. Cook, stirring, until the spices coat the vegetables and are fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Add paste and sautee for 2-3 mins. Slowly add the beer while scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to dissolve the coating of spices. Simmer until the beer is reduced by about half and the mixture has thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beef, along with any accumulated juices, and the beef broth. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Test a cube of meat—you should be able to cut it with a spoon.

4)If not serving immediately, chill overnight. The next day, skim any fat from the top, if necessary, before reheating.

To serve, heat the chili gently. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 2 cups of the beef cubes to a plate. Shred the meat with a fork and return it to pot. Taste and add more salt if needed. Heat the beans in a medium bowl covered with plastic in the microwave (or heat them gently in a saucepan). Spoon chili over beans in an individual bowl. When serving, top with fresh minced onions, cilantro or sour cream if desired, and a sharp cheddar or jack cheese. Serve with any of several choices, including rice, saltine crackers (yawn), or (my favorite) fresh cornbread.

FOOTNOTES:

* — These peppers may be substituted for each other (or omitted) freely, depending on the type of heat and amount you are looking for. The jalapeno is the lightest of the three, producing more of a smoky than burning sensation on the palate. Serrano peppers have a more intense heat that tends to dissipate quickly, though more should be used since they are smaller than jalapenos. The habanero is the hottest of the three, and it’s not really close. Typically I’ll use just a half or so of the habanero pepper along with an entire jalapeno pepper to open up the meat flavors if the chili is intended for public consumption.

** — To toast and grind dried chiles: Place chiles on baking sheet in 350-degree oven until fragrant and puffed, about 6 minutes. Put smaller chiles (De Arbol) in for no more than 2 minutes. Cool, stem, and seed, tearing pods into pieces. Place pieces of the pods in a spice grinder and process until powdery, 30 to 45 seconds.

*** — a chile beer is a lighter beer in which brewers typically use an oil or the pepper itself to induce heat in the drink. I am not a fan of drinking these beers myself, and actually prefer a darker beer to drink alongside the chile. I find they make wonderful cooking agents, however.

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14 replies
  1. 1
    DR says:

    I gather you’re inviting us over for some of that wonderful sounding chili?

    Mmmmmmmm…

  2. 2
    robert green says:

    i would add a cup of very strong coffee about 2/3 of the way into the cooking process. and i like a very dark beer rather than one of the foofy new chile beers.

  3. 3
    HBinBoston says:

    Are you sure you want 1 inch cubes? That is a cube 1 inch on all sides. I recently read a beef recipe that called for 2″ cubes. Imagine, a piece of meat 2″ on all sides. Might be called “Heimlich Maneuver Beef Stew.” You don’t get many 1- inch cubes from 2 lbs of meat. But if you really mean 1″ cubes, count me in.

  4. 4
    Perry Como says:

    Bah. Too late. Already have some pozole stew on the stove. The recipe sounds tasty.

  5. 5
    tom.a says:

    To counter the heat, you may want to wash it all down with a thick stout and a blob of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Might as well keep all courses beer related.

  6. 6
    RSA says:

    Sounds really good! That’s by the way the best use of chile beer I’ve run into so far.

  7. 7

    that sounds AWESOME.
    Holy shit. I’m gonna copy this down and see if i can modify it for the all-day cooker.

  8. 8

    When you say “New Mexico chiles” do you mean Hatch chiles and if so, do you mean the green or red?

  9. 9
    John Thullen says:

    I lurk here for reasons.

    One, John Cole can rip the Republican Party a new one even better and funnier than I can (Tim ain’t bad either, but he lacks the thrilling anger of the true apostate), despite our political differences, and …

    Tom in Texas gives great recipe, ya know, for someone from that accursed bunch of geographical mistakes. ;)

    Excuse me, I need to print this recipe. See ya.

  10. 10
    Dreggas says:

    *—These peppers may be substituted for each other (or omitted) freely, depending on the type of heat and amount you are looking for. The jalapeno is the lightest of the three, producing more of a smoky than burning sensation on the palate. Serrano peppers have a more intense heat that tends to dissipate quickly, though more should be used since they are smaller than jalapenos. The habanero is the hottest of the three, and it’s not really close. Typically I’ll use just a half or so of the habanero pepper along with an entire jalapeno pepper to open up the meat flavors if the chili is intended for public consumption.

    If you want some good heat you can just use 3 fresnos, they are as hot as an jalapeno heat wise and have a really rich “chili” flavor.

    I tend to use a good quantity of red, yellow and green chilis as well as pods, that’s the first I’ve seen of using a “paste” which I will definitely keep in mind.

    Also like using the chuck, I tend to brown the meat then add the veggies to the grease instead of using olive oil.

    For those who can’t take the acidity I recommend adding one tsp of sugar to your bowl (don’t know how this translates to a pot). It doesn’t change the flavor but does cut the acid so it doesn’t overkill on heartburn.

    for a complete pepper guide go here
    it ranks them by heat and has suggestions for each.

  11. 11
    Keith says:

    I’m a big fan of dumping a beer into a pot of chili. Ditto with tequila, too. I have a quickie recipe that I used w/ basically some ranch-style beans (yeah, I like beans in my chili), habanero rotel, and some powder, but I’m veering more towards the from-scratch purist chili like Tim’s listed here (going with the habaneros…reheated habanero chili just seems mellower but still has the “chili bliss” effect). My next big chili experiment is going to be some made with Naga Jolokia if I can get a plant to fruit this year.

  12. 12

    I have always put beer in both my Chili and my Texas Red(Which owes an awful lot to German Gulaschzuppe aka Goulash Soup).

  13. 13
    Tzal says:

    It has beans in it. That’s not chili, that’s stew. Albeit a very fine sounding stew.

  14. 14

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptCool, stem, and seed, tearing pods into pieces. Place pieces of the pods in a spice grinder and process until powdery, 30 to 45 seconds. ***—a chile beer is a lighter beer in which brewers typically use an oil or the pepper itself to … […]

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  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptCool, stem, and seed, tearing pods into pieces. Place pieces of the pods in a spice grinder and process until powdery, 30 to 45 seconds. ***—a chile beer is a lighter beer in which brewers typically use an oil or the pepper itself to … […]

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