Black Bean & Beer Chili! A hearty chili loaded with mushrooms, beans and peppers simmered in a tangy beer sauce.
Beer in Chili. I pinkie promise I did not come up with this recipe because I wanted an excuse to drink beer while I cook.
Please, I do that anyways. Like I need an excuse.
While I have been known to make risotto only because I wanted an excuse to have a glass of wine on Tuesday, cooking with beer was completely new to me.
Then, when I was home at my sister’s house over New Year’s I saw Rachel Ray do it. If Rachel can do it, I can do it. So, a little beer in the chili, a swig or two while we stir, and dinner is good to go.
I’ve only recently been introduced, or reintroduced to beer, and I have suddenly become a fan. I’m not sure if it’s the explosion of microbrews all around us, but I have been surprising even myself when I order a draft beer while out to dinner. Who am I?
I created this chili with BL in mind. I wanted something hearty and meaty, thick enough to be considered a stew but spicy enough to be a chili.
Naturally, mushrooms were my first go-to ingredient. Besides lentils, mushrooms are one of my favorite meat-swaps. They are so hearty and provide great umami flavor. Since BL is a huge fan of heat, I also added a healthy dose of peppers, both bell and jalapenos. If you like your chili a little more tame, limit your spicy peppers to 1/2 or 1.
While this chili is perfect on its own, adding a bit of beer to the simmering tomato base makes this chili more tangy and complex. I suppose you could use any beer here, so go with whatever you prefer to drink.
I ended up making this twice, once with IPA and once with a good old Bud Light. Are you surprised that I ended up liking the Bud Light better? It added the perfect amount of subtle beer flavor. That being said, go with whatever feels right. I suggest starting out with 6oz. and letting it cook for at least 30 minutes. Then, taste and see if you prefer a bit more. Of course to drink, I think this pairs much better with an IPA than the Bud.
As with all chili, don’t forget the topping! Avocado and cilantro are musts for me but feel free to get crazy. That’s always my favorite part about chili, setting out a bowl of toppings and letting everyone do.their.thang.
This chili has everything going for it in the nutrition department. Each 400 calorie bowl contains 5g fat, 17g fiber and 22.5g protein.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1½ tbsp. chili powder
- ¼/-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depends how spicy you like it)
- 4 cups black beans (canned or cooked. If using canned, drain and rinse)
- 6 oz. beer (see above for recommendations)
- 1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and brown for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the onion, red pepper, jalapenos, and stir for another 5 minutes, cooking until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic and the spices: cumin, oregano, cinnamon, smoked paprika, chili powder and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Add in the black beans, beer, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Let cook for at least 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick.
- Serve with toppings of choice: chopped cilantro, cheese, avocado, sour cream, whatever you like!