Beer Chili is one of my absolute favorite things to make during cold winter months. It’s super easy, so anyone who can brown some meat and cut up a few vegetables can do it, and it’s oh so good.
I’ve tried making both vegetarian and meat versions of this. In all honesty, I think that the meat is kind of essential to pull this one off (it tends to flavor the meat more than anything else), but if you’re a vegetarian don’t let that stop you from giving it a try as well.
Below is my favorite chili recipe. I like things spicy, so there are a few jalapeños in this. If spice isn’t your thing, leave them out, and you’ll still have a pretty delicious dish. If you LOVE spice, feel free to use a habanero or something a little hotter.
As for the beer, I recommend using a brown ale. My go-to for a while was Bad Penny made by Big Boss Brewing Company in Raleigh, NC. If you have a favorite local brown, that will likely do a fine job as well. If you’re in a tough spot, you can also use Newcastle, or a comparable brown. For spice lovers, a friend of mine made this recipe with Ballast Point’s Habanero Sculpin this year, which was also a pretty solid (and quite spicy) choice. If you do choose a spiced beer, make sure you’re balancing your jalapeño addition with the spice from the beer, so you don’t end up with an inedible inferno on your hands.
1 lb. of ground turkey or beef
1 large red onion
1 large green pepper
1 large red pepper
2 cups of corn
1/4 cup of chili powder
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs oregano
12 oz. brown ale
32 oz. of diced tomatoes (You can sometimes find cans in this size, if not, buy a few smaller ones)
45 oz. kidney beans (Spice things up by substituting some of these for black or pinto)
Directions: Brown meat, and then set aside on paper towels (to soak up grease). Dice all of the vegetables. Combine all of the vegetables, tomatoes, meat, beans, and spices into a large crock pot. Stir in 12 oz. of the beer of your choice. Cook on a medium heat for roughly 4 hours.
That’s it. Super easy. I typically taste mine every hour or so to make sure things are going according to plan. It’s super easy to add another jalapeño if things aren’t spicy enough. The first few hours, the beer taste will be a bit awkward. Give it a while, and it will start to mellow out and be great. Trust me.
I always serve mine with shredded cheddar, green onions, and few corn chips on top.