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Beer Chili - Best Chili with Beer

Updated on December 7, 2011
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Beer Chili

I think chili is one of the most brilliant concepts in the culinary world. Simmer together meat with peppers in some sort of sauce and you have deliciousness. I view types of chili the same way I do burgers or BBQ - there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to do it - the bowl in my hand is usually my favorite chili. For years chili was traditionally made with red meats, beef, bison or venison topping the list. But in the past couple of decades various white chilis have made their debuts, to my absolute delight. There are of course tremendous debates over the inclusion of beans - I'll hold my head up now and say I put them in there. Texans usually get upset, but I'm Tennessean and that's the way it is.

This particular version is one of my favorites - the basic chili - with no heat added - is wonderful. I use that version for when I know I'm feeding those who just don't want the heat - namely my youngest kiddo and my dad. Take the heat up in small increments from there - start with the hot sauce for very mild heat, and work yourself up to big bold stay-with-you hot, by working in the cayenne (careful - it packs a punch), red pepper flakes and of course the chili peppers.

The beer in this chili adds a great depth of flavor that can be hard to achieve without it. Use whatever kind you like - I tend to use lagers for the mildness of their flavor. Dark beers add an entirely different flavor profile, and are fabulous - try whatever your favorite is. Chances are if you like to drink it you will love it in this chili. Make sure you like to drink the one you choose, you'll have five more after you've gotten the chili put together to keep you company while it simmers.

Like most stews, this gets better as it sits. The flavors come together and it becomes One with Deliciousness.  It simply needs to be reheated to be amazing. This makes about eight large servings.

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  • 2 lbs ground beef –85% lean preferably
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 2 large bell pepper, green or red or mixed, seeded and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 oz) can beer
  • 2 (15 oz) cans spicy chili beans
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • Optional heat ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™), or to taste
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 fresh jalapeno or Serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

Serve with sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, diced green onion and minced cilantro for garnishes.

1.     In the bottom of a large Dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess grease.

2.     Add onion, bell peppers and garlic, and sauté with the ground beef for about five minutes. Add diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce, beer and chili beans.

3.     Add Worcestershire sauce and chili powder, stirring well to combine. Add optional ingredients at this point – hot pepper sauce, cayenne, serrano or jalapeno peppers, and red pepper flakes.

4.     Bring the pot to a simmer, cover and allow it to simmer for about 2 hours.  


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    • chirls profile image


      10 years ago from Indiana (for now)

      Yum! I never thought of using beer in chili! I will definitely give it a try next time I am doing a proper, slow-cooked chili. Thanks for the recipe!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This sounds so wonderful. I have used beer in my BBQ sauce and even in my pancakes, so giving it a try in chili would be awesome. Can't wait to give it a try. Thank you for the receipe.


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