While looking for recipes to try, I came across a blog that did a series of posts on pizza. She had about 10 different posts on different pizza recipes, ranking them and comparing them against each other. I told Jake, who immediately suggested I do something similar, only for chili. Not a bad idea. Especially since chili is easy to make, could possibly be done in my crockpot, and can easily be thrown in a tupperware container for lunch.
I, perhaps got a little too excited for this first one. I didn’t want to make “normal” chili. So when I came across a recipe that called for beer, I thought why not. There are a few things wrong however. A) beer technically isn’t allowed. Although not sure if it’s cooked off enough to matter. B) depending on what diet you’re following, beans aren’t allowed. So if you want to give this chili a try, you might need to subtract a few ingredients…
Chipotle Beef Chili
Adapted from myrecipes.com
2 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced (Warning: I used all 5 in the can. Mistake!)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
2 to 3 T chili powder
1 to 2 tsp sea salt
2 to 3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 (12 ounce) bottle dark beer (optional)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 ounces of chicken broth
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)

First I browned the beef in my skillet, drained it and set it aside in a tupperware container.

In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Reduce heat to low and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. About 10 minutes.

Add the diced bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

Here is where I made my mistake. Instructions say to add 3 diced chipotle peppers. I’ve never worked with them before, so when I opened the can and saw that there were about 5 in there, it seemed stupid to me to just use three. False. False. The end result was super spicy chili. And trust me, I like spicy. It was almost too spicy to eat. Lesson learned.

Anyway, add the peppers and garlic, and cook for one more minute.

Add the beef that you had set aside. Then add the chili powder, sea salt, cumin, and black pepper. (The original recipe also includes 1/4 tsp dried basil, but I didn’t have any).

Add the beer and simmer for two minutes. Here was the beer that I used. Mostly because it was dark, not too expensive and came in a single serving. I’m not a huge fan of dark beer, so I didn’t want to buy a six pack and then be stuck with extra beer I didn’t want to drink. In retrospect, I suppose I could have just given the rest to Jake.

Stir in Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth. Rather than use a can, I just boiled up my own using the chicken cubes. If you really want to follow the diet, you can actually make your own broth from left over pieces of chicken and just freeze it. That seems like too much work for me.

Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.

At this point, add the beans if you are including them. And continue to simmer for 10 more minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly.

Here is where I took Jake’s advice and actually left it simmering. Last year Jake and I got into a debate on how long you should leave chili cooking. My old recipe just had you cook it for about 15-20 minutes. Jake argued that in order for all of the flavors to meld, you have to leave it, sometimes for hours. Since I wanted the chili to be hot for Jake and wasn’t expecting him for a while, I just left it. I think the final time came out to 56 minutes.

Now as to what I thought about this one. Not such a big fan. Mostly because of my mistake than the actual recipe. It was just way too spicy. I can’t believe two extra peppers could do that, but it did. Then again, maybe the recipe is just really spicy? Either way, even Jake had some trouble eating it. The plus side is that the next day, after it had been sitting in my fridge for a while, I felt like it became less spicy. Not sure if that’s possible. But I was able to eat it the next few days for lunch without feeling like I needed to drink a gallon on water.
I might try this one again, just to see if I can tone down the spiciness to really taste everything. The idea of adding beer to the chili sounded fun. But I felt like I couldn’t really taste a difference. Let me know if you give it a shot and how it turned out.

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