100 Ways to Use Beer in Food #16: Chili

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100 ways to use beer in food is BACK and better than ever. As Winter Storm Janus trapped the fiancé and I indoors for TWO days straight, we had the typically rare opportunity to cook a meal together. Thinking about what meats we had in the freezer, we finally came to using the ground beef to make CHILI.

Why did Chili come to mind first? Well, I had this bottle of Billy’s Chilies that ML and her BF brought over for me. Billy’s Chilies is a BEER flavored with Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeno, Anaheim, and Fresno chili peppers. Yup…I’ve been saving this for the right time, and with frigid temperatures and going out to brush off 4 inches of snow from the cars every few hours, some extra heat was needed in the chili.

ML warned us that some antacids would be needed before and after indulging in the suds. She was right. I took a small taste to see if it would complement the flavors in our chili. YOWZA. Screw beer…you can taste the chilies in liquid form—start to finish. Of course there is a hint of wheat malts, but this was the perfect brew for chili.

I’ve had some spicy chili, but usually it’s been the kind that burns your tongue until it’s numb and you can’t even taste the chili. This had a different feeling. First off, the beer really changed the flavor in a big way. Chili powder definitely adds a spicy flavor, but the peppers included in the beer really came through the chili. The chili had a big KICK to it that continued throughout, even after you were done with the chili. This stuff is perfect for a cold winter day…when you have to brush the damn snow off your cars several times a day. Trust me: this will warm you up.

Billy’s Chilies Chili

  • 1 lb ground beef (we used extra lean)
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • 28 can of whole tomatoes (with juice)
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 cans of beans – your choice (we used red kidney and pinto)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bottle of Billy’s Chilies Beer

1) Using a dutch oven, sauté beef, garlic, and olive oil—depending on the fat in the beef, strain the grease. If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can do this in a large cooking pot or do it in a frying pan and then use a slow cooker for the rest of the steps (on low).

2) Turn stove on low. Add the tomato paste first; make sure it covers everything.

3) Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. I added the beer at this point and let the flavors combine.

4) Let simmer for four hours covered. Stir occasionally.

5) After four hours, uncover and let reduce for another half hour, or until the chili is at your desired thickness.

Throw a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar.

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  • Bruce January 23, 2014  

    Was beer supposed to be used in this recipe? It’s not listed as an ingredient nor is it mentioned in the instructions. Or was the beer just for drinking with the chili?

  • The Fiance January 23, 2014  

    It was amazing!

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