Hot chili is a very underrated summer menu item. Bring a big ol' thermos of this to a picnic or other warm weather cookout, and it makes a great side to those grilled burgers and dogs. Just have some insulated cups around, and maybe some hot sauce, and you're in business. But no matter what season it is, I hope you give this beef, bean, and beer chili a try soon.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
1 hr 10 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place a pot over high heat. Drizzle in vegetable oil. Add diced onion, ground beef, and salt. Break up meat with wooden spoon into small pieces as it browns. After meat browns and releases its juices, continue stirring until the released liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add garlic, chile powder, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook and stir until mixture begins to darken, 3 or 4 minutes.

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  • Stir in beer. Add cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne, water, and tomato puree; stir well. Bring to a simmer; adjust heat to medium-low. Simmer 30 minutes.

  • Stir in diced green pepper and pinto beans. If mixture becomes too thick, add a bit more water. Simmer until peppers are tender and flavors have blended, about 30 more minutes.

Tips

Cook's Notes:

I used ancho chile powder, but any high-quality ground chili pepper will work here. Also, I used a poblano pepper, but a combo of jalapeno and green bell pepper works great too.

Nutrition Facts

649 calories; protein 32.5g 65% DV; carbohydrates 27.3g 9% DV; fat 43.9g 68% DV; cholesterol 128.6mg 43% DV; sodium 1387.9mg 56% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (136)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2017
I have made this nearly a dozen times, but a few important tips. 1st. Using thin tomato puree (liquidy rather then pasty) works best, if that isn't possible go VERY easy on tomato (less then recipe says, 2/3 maybe even half if its thick puree), it washes out too much complexity and makes it oddly tangy otherwise. 2nd. the original Blog post by Chef John had 2 tsp of paprika rather then 1, keep that in mind when adjusting spices to preference. I use 2tsp Hungarian 3rd. THE BEER: I consider it very important to use a bitter beer with this, i prefer either neutral-bitter (not too much malt) high ABV IPA or a bitter, above average quality bitter lager. If neither of those are available a cheaper dark larger (mexican) works very well. Do not use something very malty, ever, find your favorite dry or hoppier beer and work with those. On 4th time cooking it i started adding a few tablespoons of brown sugar at the end, if you do this then don't over-do it, but this can add really nice flavor mix where chili has a 4 part sweet to bitter to meaty to savory on every bite. Hard for novice cook like me to describe but very addictive if you nail it. Read More
(21)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
02/05/2018
We recently had a chili competition at work and I love Chef John's recipes so I decided to make this. The cinnamon was SO overpowering! Hard to believe just 1/8 t would be that strong. And with so little tomato product it was like beef soup with cinnamon. I ended up adding two more cans of tomato sauce AND a jar of salsa but still at work during the blind tasting everyone was saying "what is that- it is cinnamon- oh I don't like that" and of course I lost big time (only one vote and that was the boss who had to vote for everyone to be PC). Sorry John I love your recipes but this one is a no go. Read More
(7)
180 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 135
  • 4 star values: 32
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2015
This was wonderful! My husband just kept raving about it over and over. I did make some changes, (only because I was going to be gone all day), I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed. I browned this with the onion and added the garlic at the end for 30 seconds. I then put everything into the Crock Pot and let it cook on low for 8 hours. After 6 hours I added the beans. It had too much liquid for our taste so I added 2 tbsp of corn meal and let it cook ok high for another 30 minutes with the lid off. It was soooooo good. Chef John please let me know if you have a cookbook because I would buy it in a heartbeat. I love your recipes. I very rarely change them ( except to make it gluten free). Thank you Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
05/19/2017
I have made this nearly a dozen times, but a few important tips. 1st. Using thin tomato puree (liquidy rather then pasty) works best, if that isn't possible go VERY easy on tomato (less then recipe says, 2/3 maybe even half if its thick puree), it washes out too much complexity and makes it oddly tangy otherwise. 2nd. the original Blog post by Chef John had 2 tsp of paprika rather then 1, keep that in mind when adjusting spices to preference. I use 2tsp Hungarian 3rd. THE BEER: I consider it very important to use a bitter beer with this, i prefer either neutral-bitter (not too much malt) high ABV IPA or a bitter, above average quality bitter lager. If neither of those are available a cheaper dark larger (mexican) works very well. Do not use something very malty, ever, find your favorite dry or hoppier beer and work with those. On 4th time cooking it i started adding a few tablespoons of brown sugar at the end, if you do this then don't over-do it, but this can add really nice flavor mix where chili has a 4 part sweet to bitter to meaty to savory on every bite. Hard for novice cook like me to describe but very addictive if you nail it. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2015
I will definitely be making this chili again. Made this last night and loved it. My hubby also said that this is definitely a "keeper" to make again. The only changes I made was do to a lack of certain ingredients. Instead of Pinto beans I substituted 1 cup of black/turtle beans and 1 cup of navy beans both were pressure cooked. I used about 2 tablespoons of rough chopped Herdez chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of the poblano peppers. I found the flavors very well balanced and I would consider this dish a medium to medium plus spicyness. It doesn't tear your head off. Excellent chili Thank you Chef John Read More
(10)
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Rating: 2 stars
02/04/2018
We recently had a chili competition at work and I love Chef John's recipes so I decided to make this. The cinnamon was SO overpowering! Hard to believe just 1/8 t would be that strong. And with so little tomato product it was like beef soup with cinnamon. I ended up adding two more cans of tomato sauce AND a jar of salsa but still at work during the blind tasting everyone was saying "what is that- it is cinnamon- oh I don't like that" and of course I lost big time (only one vote and that was the boss who had to vote for everyone to be PC). Sorry John I love your recipes but this one is a no go. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2016
Absolutely fantastic! You don't even need to top it with anything! I made it exactly as written ( except I used venison) and it turned out perfect! Chef John rocks!! Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
12/17/2017
I made just a few changes based on what I had in my kitchen: 1.I used regular Chili Powder instead of Ancho Chilie Powder 2.I didn't measure out the Poblano Pepper I just used the whole thing 3.I had one can of Light Kidney Beans and one can of Dark Kidney Beans. Overall I'd say the recipe is good but when I make it again I'll definitely make some changes. My partner and I both agreed that there was something missing. (We served it with mashed potatoes and cheese). I used a lighter beer (Blue Moon) for this recipe and I think that was a mistake. This Chili needs something either hoppier or darker or the flavor of the beer doesn't pop. I will definitely search out Ancho Chili Powder for my next go (I'm moving so I'm lacking time to look for it. Chili is a good way to save time as well as using up cans of beans so I don't have to move them:P). I think this would also be amazing with Chorizo instead of ground beef to up the flavor profile. I will say that I definitely LOVED the addition of cinnamon to the recipe. It added something to Chili that I never knew was missing! I'm also very glad I used a whole Poblano Pepper. It simplifies the recipe and tasted quite delicious. I'll update when I make it again:) Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2018
Made this many times now...family favorite! A few minor variations/notes: 1) I use petite sirloin steaks minced instead of buying ground beef 2) cut down the cayenne by 1/3 to 1/2 if your family can t handle the heat 3) be aware that some stores (incorrectly) sell poblano chiles as pasilla chiles Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2016
Definitely a keeper! Chef John is always spot on! I put this on the stove for my family to eat while I ran errands. I came home to an almost empty pot (I had doubled the recipe too- I really wanted leftovers!). I used dried chipotle pepper also and instead of oil I browned the beef in bacon fat. I was raised by a southern mom that taught me to always have it in the fridge.;) Enjoy! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2016
I liked it very much. I don't particularly care for the Ancho Chili so I just used ordinary chili powder and a bit of chipotle. Very good. I served it with "Sweet Cornbread Cake" recipe by myfoursonsks here on allrecipes. delicious recipe as well I won't make any other cornbread recipe ever again but this one. I always eat the leftovers for breakfast! Read More
(3)