Friday, April 6, 2018

Beer Chili with Spaghetti -- A new take on an 80s recipe from Georgia

Flipping through the 1989 Best of the Best from Georgia Cookbook (which I plan to feature on a Vintage Cookbook TBT post soon) I came across a recipe for "Beer Chili". What I found intriguing about it was both the use of beer and that, like Cincinnati Chili, you are meant to serve the chili with spaghetti. I am a big fan of chili and have featured several of my chili recipes on The Left Chapter in the past (such as Yellow Pepper, Beef, Mushroom Caribbean Style Chili or Campfire Beef Chili with Nachos and Homemade Cheese Sauce) so I wanted to give this one a try.

While the recipe looks ok as is I thought that with a few changes I could jazz it up and make it even more interesting. My take turned out to be both delicious and a real crowd-pleaser, so here it is. 

As you will see I have added several ingredients, used more ground beef, kicked up the spice level and made a couple of other changes along the way.


2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large Cubanelle pepper sweet (not hot), chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste (with basil if available)
1 - 700 ml. bottle of tomato puree or passata (with basil leaf if available)
1 jar pickled jalapenos
6 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 - 500 ml. can of lager, pilsner or light/pale ale beer - I used a can of the Polish beer Tatra 
1 can kidney beans
cooked spaghetti 
salt and black pepper to taste

To start, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms over medium high heat for 5-8 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper to taste as you go.

Once they have softened and browned, add the ground beef. Break it up and stir all the ingredients together as you brown the beef. While you are browning the beef stir into the mixture the chili powder, cayenne pepper and more salt and pepper to taste.

Once the beef is browned add the jalapenos, beer, tomato paste and tomato puree. Stir it all together, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

With about 15 minutes to go add the (drained) can of kidney beans. Also, at around this time you should start to cook your spaghetti separately as you generally would make spaghetti.

While the original recipe calls for stirring the pasta into the completed chili, I don't like to do this as I don't like what it does to either the texture of the chili or the pasta. Also, different people like different proportions of pasta to chili.

Instead I would plate the spaghetti in large serving bowls and serve with the chili spooned over top.

The use of the beer adds a very distinct, and very good, flavour that is not common in chili.

This dish goes really well with more ice cold beer, red wine and some company for a board game or sports night!


See also: Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Southwestern Pulled Beef and Tacos

See also: Bistecca alla Pizzaiola with Mozzarella

No comments:

Post a Comment