PopLurker Recipes: Boozy Ale Chili Fit for a Cowboy on a Blazing Saddle

By Loryn Stone

 

I love Chili so freaking much.

I think I was 17 the first time I attempted a batch. It was…okay. But from there, my recipe only got better and better. I remember there was this amazing place in Van Nuys, California called Chili My Soul. They had over 30 chili recipes total and about ten available for purchase each day. The owner, Randy, said some of their chilis took three days to cook. I used to pick his brain hot sauce recommendations, flavor combos, anything. He was such a nice man. Unfortunately, food costs spiked and his chili tripled in cost. As someone in my early twenties still in school, I just couldn’t afford the luxury of Randy’s chili anymore. Even worse, he passed away shortly after one summer. My friends and I were crushed. And he never released the cook book he said he was working on.

To this day, every time I make a batch of chili, I keep Randy in mind. And because this chili has beer in it, you can pop in the greatest Comedy-Western of all time, Blazing Saddles (pick up a copy here if you don’t have one yet). Sure, the comedy might be a little…oh…racist…sexist. Over the top. And yes, when the group of guys eat the chili, they’re farting their asses off. But we’re among friends and family! Let loose! Enjoy yourself! Have a laugh! I’ve been making this stuff for 15 years- I promise everyone will still love you in the morning.

But speaking of which, 15 years later, I’ve learned that Chili isn’t so much a recipe, but a method.

For example, you can make chili with or without just about any meat. Vegetarian is great and incredibly satisfying. You can use chicken, stew meat, ground meat, anything. It all works. Don’t like green pepper? Use all one color, I don’t care. Don’t like jalapeños? Fine, use a different chili. Or cayenne pepper. I don’t own you. Do all black beans. Use red or white beans instead of kidney beans. Use fresh tomatoes instead of salsa. Use them combined with salsa, doesn’t matter.

(Just don’t use canned tomatoes. They’re too potent and overpowering.)

Let’s talk beers here for just a second. My absolute favorite beer to make chili with is Firestone Walker’s Double Barrel Ale. The label describes is as a British style ale. The batch I took pictures of here was made with Firestone Walker’s 805 Blonde Ale, and it was just delicious. I’ve used Ambers and the results are very nice, too. Dark beers like Guinness are great paired with coffee, beef, or cocoa powder (discussed at the end of the recipe). Hefeweizens and other wheat beers are sufficient but not ideal, especially ones like Blue Moon that have a citrus edge. It’s not awesome. The absolute worst in my experience are Pale Ale and IPA’s. Oh my god, that bitterness just doesn’t Chili good. I’ve done it, and it’s just sadness. Just don’t.

If you really can’t beer in your chili for whatever reason, stock will work. Vegetable, chicken, or beef. Whatever matches the flavor profile you’re going for that day. But if the end result tastes a little one-note, you might need to brighten it with some lime juice, or even a tiny splash of red wine vinegar.

All right- let’s get cooking!

 

Ingredients

1 lb meat

1 medium onion (medium dice)

4 bell peppers (2 red/2 green)

5-7 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 Jalapenos (minced) or 1 small can green chilis

1 can black beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 jar salsa (16 oz)

1 (12 oz) bottle beer (we’ll talk specifics in a second)

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Spices

2 tsp salt (to taste)

½ tsp black pepper (to taste)

1 TBSP Chili powder

1 tsp Cumin

¼ tsp Dried oregano

¼ tsp Coriander

¼ tsp Dried ground mustard seed

2 tsp Worchester sauce

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Preheat your large Dutch Oven on medium-high heat. Drizzle 1 TBSP of Olive Oil to coat the pan. Sautee onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, jalapenos, and garlic.

 

Drain and rinse beans, add to the pot. Add Worchester sauce, entire jar of salsa, spices and stir. Add entire bottle of beer.

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Simmer with lid on, medium-low heat for 2.5 hours. Take lid off and allow to thicken at medium-low heat for another 20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the chili is thickened. And that’s it! Put it in an adorable little bowl, top with your favorite chili-goodies and enjoy!

 

 

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Toppings

From here, the sky is the limit. My favorite is some grated cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and some sprinkled cilantro. Sour cream, guacamole, extra salsa, corn chips, corn bread, to chocolate chips are all phenomenal toppings.

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Yes. Chocolate chips. In fact, if you use beef in the chili, Guinness Beer, and a few teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder in your chili while it’s cooking, it makes an amazing chili. A cup of brewed black coffee tastes incredible too.

Then again, it always does.

 

 Follow Loryn on Twitter and she’ll bake you a cake. She also has a personal blog. Her debut novel My Starlight, a young adult story about anime, fandom, cosplaying, sexuality, love, loss, and friendship will be released August 3rd 2018 by Affinity Rainbow Publications. Pre-sales available in July, 2018. 

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