Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili – What a Great Way to Lose a Beer

As the legend goes, someone was making a batch of chili one day, while drinking too much beer, and due to a series of unfortunate events, a bottle was dropped into the pot. 

By the time it was fished out, the contents had escaped, and a new, delicious version of chili was born. As a former line cook, I'd say that sounds about right.

This recipe reminds me of the decision we’re faced with whenever we make beef stew. Should we deglaze with wine, or just our broth? Both make great, but differently flavored stews, so it really just depends on your mood, and also whether you're willing to sacrifice your adult beverage.

As I mention in the video, hot chili is a very underrated summer menu item. Bring a big ol’ thermos of this to a picnic, or other warm weather cookout, and it makes a great side to those grilled burgers and dogs. Just have some insulated cups around, and maybe some hot sauce, and you’re in business. I hope you give this beef, bean, and beer chili a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 diced onion
2 pounds ground beef
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tbsp ancho chile powder, or to taste (I like ancho, but any high-quality ground chili pepper will work)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12-oz) bottle of beer
1 cup tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
2 cups water, or as needed
2/3 cup diced green pepper (I used poblano, but a combo of jalapeno and green bell works great too)
2 (12 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well