Monday, December 7, 2009

Beef and Oatmeal Stout Chili

There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of chili to warm your body and soul on a cold wintry day. I love to let a batch simmer on the stove for hours while letting the aromas fill my apartment and watching the snow fall outside. The first snow of the season inspired me to cook a big pot of chili and create a recipe for the blog this weekend. With most of my cooking I usually don’t follow recipes—I just throw the ingredients together and see what happens—so I encourage you to try variations of this recipe based on your own personal preferences. I also don’t give measurements for the spices in this recipe. Everyone enjoys a different spice level, so you should just add the spices to your liking. Of course, I don’t want my preference for heat to overwhelm your palate—just have fun and play around with the ingredients. However, I would say to definitely try it with the oatmeal stout. There is nothing like pouring a bottle of dark beer into your chili to make it extra delicious and tasty. I prefer Wolaver’s, but there are many good brands out there.

Beef and Oatmeal Stout Chili
1 bottle of oatmeal stout (or any dark beer)
3/4 cup beef stock
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, diced

1 15¼ oz. can yellow corn
1 19 oz. can light red kidney beans
1 19 oz. can dark red kidney beans
1 tblsp. oil
Spices: salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder

1. In a large pot heat the oil (veggie or olive is okay) over medium heat.

2. Add the diced onion, green pepper, and garlic and coat with oil.

3. Add the ground beef.

4. While the ground beef begins to brown, toss in some spices. I recommend starting with less spice. Do a few shakes of each spice and let them soak into the beef. As the chili cooks the spices will intensify and grow stronger, and you can always add more later if you need more heat.

5. After the beef has browned, stir in the corn, kidney beans, and tomatoes.

6. Pour in the bottle of beer and the beef stock and stir all the ingredients together.

7. Bring the chili to a boil and then lower the heat and let simmer.

8. After an hour taste the mixture and add more spices if you think the chili is lacking a good kick. I like to let the chili sit on the stove for a few hours to allow all the ingredients to meld together to create the right combination of hearty meat, hot spices, and tasty veggies. When you’re ready to indulge, ladle yourself out a bowl and pair it with a piece of buttered cornbread and some leftover oatmeal stout.

There’s nothing quite like relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon as chili simmers on the stove. I hope you enjoy this recipe for beef chili with oatmeal stout, and if you’d prefer a veggie chili, just substitute mushrooms or faux beef for the ground beef and veggie stock for the beef stock. Enjoy!

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