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Beef and Dark Beer Chili


  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • ½ lb stew beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs bell peppers (used light green)
  • 1 jalapeño chiles with seeds, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, chopped
  • 7 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 15-ounce cans dark kidney beans, drained
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer (used a dark lager, stout would work too)
  • 12 ounces water
  • Sour cream
  • Coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Crush cumin and coriander seeds, I used a mortar and pestle. Toast cumin and coriander in skillet over medium heat until darker and beginning to smoke, about 4 minutes. Cool.
Sauté beef in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking up with spoon, about 8 minutes. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and hot peppers. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add mixture to pot with meat. Mix in toasted spices, chili powder, and chipotle chiles. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, beer and water. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with sour cream and cheese.

Makes 15 to 20 servings
Source: Bon Appétit February 2007, David Burke


Can be made ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated up to 2 days (or freeze up to 1 month). Rewarm over medium-low heat.

Knowing that we would be away for the weekend and wanting to have a meal that could easily feed my family and several others, I decided to take along the ingredients for this chili. I crushed the seeds at home, if you don’t want to go through the hassle you could buy ground cumin and coriander. The original recipe called for 5 pounds of meat, that just seemed like overkill to me. I do not like a real meaty chili. We usually put stew beef in our own chili, so we mixed it up in this one. The original also called for 2 ½ pounds of onion and 3 pounds of bell peppers. That seemed like odd ratios to me. I got tired of cutting onions, so I stopped after 4. The bell peppers, I’m still trying to use up what we have in our freezer from the end of year harvest. I didn’t have any yellow or reds left, but I did have these very pretty light green ones. I just took a gallon size bag along, I’m not sure exactly how many it was, likely around 4 or 5 medium sized peppers. The hot peppers were also from the same bounty, that’s why I threw a serrano chile in there. The choice in beer was more about what was available to me. I told the hubby that I needed a dark beer, he is not a big fan of stouts, but he had brought a sampler case of beer along and chose the darkest of the lot.

In the end, we had this enormous stock pot of chili. Another friend made this super tasty mexican rice with chili to load in tortillas and another made tangy pulled pork. It was all very good, the chili was complemented several times. We froze what was left and brought it home with us and it fed us again tonight. A real blessing because by the time we got home we really didn’t feel like cooking. We still have enough left for lunch tomorrow! The original was suppose to feed 10 to 12. After reducing the main ingredient amounts, we still had leftovers, twice!

Our weekend was spent in a beautiful cabin at the top of a mountain in West Virginia. We spent the weekend with virtually no cell phones or internet, simply because there was no available signal. My boys went hiking, found fossils, rode ATV’s and got to shoot their first pistol and rifle at targets. It was a real “boys” weekend for them and they loved every minute of it. What about me…I shopped, looked for photography props, played board games and enjoyed talking with girlfriends. A wonderful long weekend. And those cookies that I’ve been posting recipes for, well I didn’t come home with any! The variety of flavors was perfect because everyone seemed to have a different favorite. I made them to ensure the boys would have snacks for the weekend, but they were enjoyed by the whole cabin. The classics like PB, snickerdoodles and molasses were no brainers. The more modern flavors of butterscotch, hot cocoa and chocolate chip pb oatmeal, each found a fan among my friends. I can say that they are each recipes that will stay in my collection.

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