Chili is my go-to winter meal.
My first few blog posts may convey the illusion that I only eat the following: 1) sweets and 2) breakfast foods. The reality is that my voracious sweet tooth has an equally zealous counterpart in my comfort food cravings. Curling up with a hot bowl of chili on a cold night is absolutely heart-warming and offers a distraction from the misery that is winter. In fact, I believe that chili is one of winter’s few redeeming qualities.
Especially my Beef and Beer Chili.
Hearty in texture, rich in flavor, and comforting as can be, Beef and Beer Chili is the perfect weeknight meal. You can throw everything in your crock pot in the morning and come home from work to a delightful smell and a delicious meal.
The key to keeping this recipe healthy is by choosing a lean ground beef. I usually choose 93% lean, which still packs a flavor punch without all the fat. Cooking in the crock pot allows the flavors to fully develop as the beer and the spices come together in a chunky, classic chili.
Let your slow cooker do all the work for you, and serve with cornbread, shredded cheddar cheese, plain Greek yogurt/sour cream, sliced jalapeños, tortilla chips, or sliced avocado, and, of course, a beer!
Beef and Beer Chili
Yields: 8 servings (about 1 1/4 cup each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef (I use 93% lean)
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chiles
2 15-ounce cans beans of choice (I like 1 can of pinto beans + 1 can of black beans, but you could use kidney beans, white beans, etc.)
12 ounces beer (Shiner Bock is my beer of choice)
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onion, and garlic, and cook until the beef is completely browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any excess liquid.
Transfer beef, onion, and garlic to slow cooker and stir in the rest of the ingredients, except for toppings. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Serve warm with desired toppings. Freeze leftovers.