Chili Weather

Fall, football, or just when you need some carnivorous comfort food.


Nothing hits the spot on a cold day like a hot bowl of chili. There are as many varieties as chili fans, but the biggest question always seems to be "beans or no beans?" Personally, I am firmly in camp "No Beans" and prefer a big bowl of spicy meaty goodness. Prefer chili with beans? Add a can or two of kidney or black beans along with the beer. 

The other question, is what kind of meat? I'm a fan of a variety. Beef, pork, and lamb are all favorites. I like to switch up the combinations a bit, depending on the occasion. As a starting place, here is a basic recipe using ground beef. Change it up as you like!


·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         2 medium onions, chopped

·         6 garlic cloves, minced

·         2 green chilies, diced (choose preferred          heat level)

·         1 teaspoon Kosher salt

·         2 cans (6 ounces) tomato paste

·         3 tablespoons chili powder

·         1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)

·         3 pounds ground beef

·         3 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes          in juice

·         1 can (12-oz) COOP Ale works DNR

My go-to options for garnish:

·         Shredded cheddar cheese

·         Sour Cream (or greek yogurt)

·         Avocado, sliced

·         Fresh diced tomato

·         Diced red onion fresh chilies, sliced

·         fresh chilies, sliced

·         Scallions, chopped

·         Cilantro, roughly Chopped




 In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

 Add tomato paste, chili powder, green chilies, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until mixture has begun to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking it up with a spoon until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

 Add tomatoes with their juice, and beer. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a rapid simmer. Cook over medium heat until chili has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Garnish as desired.


For those who have asked about my lower-calorie modifications, here are some great ways to  reduce the calorie count, without having to skip the chili altogether.

  • Brown 93% lean meat separately, and drain, discarding fat.
  • Omit the beer.
  • Substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
  • Go light on the cheese, or eliminate altogether.
  • While avocadoes do contain fat, it is good fat, so I usually just reduce, not eliminate the avocado in my serving.