Knowing we were heading into a turkey frenzy, we decided a batch of chili was just what we needed, last Wednesday night. Our chili has beans and we usually use a couple different kinds. This time it was half kidney beans and half black beans. We also use beer, as part of the liquid. I stumbled upon a Smoked Porter, from Alaskan Brewing Company, which I thought would be perfect. (Just learned, this is a seasonal beer, released annually in November, so we will have to stash a couple.) While way too smoky for either of us to drink, it was perfect in our chili. I had not intended to post this….until we tasted it. It was so darn good, we had to write it down so we can make it again!
For the Chili
Prepare the beans: Soak a total of 3 cups of dry beans in cold water, overnight in a large pot. We used Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans. Drain, rinse. Cover with cold water and simmer about an hour. Drain and rinse again, until ready to use. (Yes – you could use canned beans. I prefer starting with dry beans.)
4-5 pounds beef stew meat
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons of chili powder
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can add more, if you like)
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 bay leaf
2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 22 ounce bottle, Smoked Porter
1 cup of beef stock
1/2 cup dark, strong coffee
1 Tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup Masa mixed with 1/2 cup of cold water – mix into a smooth paste in a small bowl.
Brown the meat in a couple of tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, over medium high heat. Brown in batches, do not crowd pan. Set meat aside. Sauté the onions and bell peppers about 5 minutes in the same pan. Add the spices and salt and pepper. Pour in the beer, the stock and the diced tomatoes with their juice. Return the meat to the pan. Add the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook 4-6 hours. (You could certainly cook this all day in a crock pot.)
To thicken the chili add the Masa mixture the last hour of cooking. Return to simmer and cover the pot.
Serve in big bowls – garnish however you like – grated cheese, sliced green onion, sour cream, and avocado are our choices.
*My recipe is inspired by Food TV, Devon’s Award-Winning Chili, Devon Fredericks from the Barefoot Contessa Tex Mex Episode, March 2010.