Dark Beer Chili

by Pamela

One Pot Wonder - Dark Beer Chili

Dark Beer Chili Recipe

If bacon makes everything taste better, then beer is a close second.   Not only is this chili super easy, it’s really delicious.  I use the recipe for Beef and Dark Beer Chili from the February 2007 issue of Bon Appetit.  But of course, I can never leave well enough alone, and have to add my own little touches and the things that my husband likes go in, and the stuff he doesn’t is left out.  That’s one of the beautiful thing about chili…it’s fully customizable.  Not that I’d ever had any complaints from the original version…but now I’ve found that I never have any leftovers when I serve this version.


  • 1 generous tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 3 pounds ground sirloin (I buy the boneless top sirloin steaks and have the butcher double grind it)
  • 2 tablespoons canola  or olive oil
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1  red bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1  yellow bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper with seeds, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 generous tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, 1 drained, 1 not drained
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
  • 2 ounces of whiskey (I use Jack Daniels)


  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green avocado’s
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Toast cumin and coriander in skillet over medium heat until darker and beginning to smoke.  This doesn’t take that long, so pay attention to it.  Occasionally stir it, so that it doesn’t burn in any spots.

Sauté beef in heavy large pot (I highly recommend a dutch oven for this) over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking up as it cooks. If you get the meat double ground, this is much easier. At the same time, put the beer and whiskey in heavy sauce pan, over medium high heat to reduce.  Be careful not to let this boil over.  It contains whiskey and will turn your stovetop into a campfire.  Reduce the beer and whiskey mixture to 1 cup (or until it’s reduced by 1/2).  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, but don’t brown the vegetables.  Add the peppers and onions to the meat. Next, add in the toasted cumin and coriander, chili powder, and chipotle chiles. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, and beer/whiskey mixture. Bring chili to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

This will have a pretty good kick to it from the hot peppers.  If you don’t want it that hot, you can reduce the amount of peppers.  Also, if yellow peppers are really expensive in your area right now, go ahead and use 2 red peppers.  Do not substitute green bell peppers.  They have a bitter taste to them and they tend to overpower with their flavor.  This chili has a nice deep/rich flavor and the whiskey adds a subtle sweetness.  If you like your chili a little more on the watery side, don’t drain the beans and add the beer, and add only 1 ounce of whiskey directly to the chili when adding the other ingredients just before boiling and simmering. ( Serves 8 )

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