Monday, September 27, 2010

4 Bean Chili


Chili is something that's good no matter what time of year or what kind of mood you are in. However as the weather gets colder here in dreary old Washington state, chili sounds even better. This recipe isn't traditional, i.e. it has beans in it, but it's still killer. Let's be honest how many people actually prefer chili that doesn't have beans in it? I always thought that chili required beans until I started really getting into cooking and found out that traditionally it's served meat only. Regardless my chili always has beans in it. You can put it on anything too hot dogs, burgers and tater tots which all get better with a spoonful of this meaty and beany goodness.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. The "strange" ingredients are the beer which can be anything but I always use some sort of dark Mexican beer like Negro Modelo. The other one is the chipotles in adobo which can be found in the Spanish section of your super market. When you add this to the chili make sure not to add too much because it is an extremely powerful and prominent item. What I recommend is putting half of what the recipe calls for in, then taste it and continue this process until you can recognize the chipotles on your pallet. If you need more just add a little more until you like it.

Also the tomato juice and corn are optional. This chili comes out pretty thick and some people prefer a tinner chile if that's the case, then add some tomato juice. What I recommend is that you take all the other ingredients and add them first then add the tomato juice if you want.The corn is also good but I only usually put it in there if I can get it fresh. The frozen and canned stuff is not that good. Hope you like it.

- 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
- 1 lb hot or mild country sausage
- 1 tablespoon of peanut oil
- 2 sweet onions chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 yellow/orange pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon pepper flakes
- Jalapenos, serranos, habaneros (all based on personal preference) diced(the more seeds you leave in the hotter if will be)
- 1 12 ounce beer I prefer Negro Modelo
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 - 2 cups tomato juice (V8) optional
- 3 - 4 chipotles in adobo, pulsed through a food processor
- 4 cans of beans whatever kind you like (I use kidney, pinto, black and garbanzo) drained and rinsed (or you can use dried beans but make sure to soak them overnight)
- 1 cup yellow corn fresh or frozen (2 ears if fresh or half a frozen bag based on preference) optional
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup new mexico chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste

The Process
1. Heat peanut oil in a large pot over medium heat then add beef, sausage, onion, peppers, garlic, hot peppers and pepper flakes then sauté until the meat is cooked about 10 minutes. Make sure to use a spatula so that you can break up the meat as it cooks.
2. Deglaze plan with the negro modelo using the spatula to get any little bits that stuck to the bottom of the pan about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cans of the crushed tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, chipotles, beans and corn then stir thoroughly. Then add the tomato paste until you get the consistency you desire. Bring to a simmer about 10 minutes.
4. Add the chili powders, cumin and oregano and stir. Then season with salt and pepper and taste it to make sure it tastes how you like it. If it’s not chili tasting enough, add more chili powder, if all the flavors are mild add more salt. If it’s not hot enough add some cayenne pepper, if you can't taste the cumin add a little more.
5. Bring to a simmer for 1 – 4 hours.
6. Serve in a bowl with shredded cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and minced onions.
7. Enjoy!

Like always if you have any questions please email me.


  1. I love the use of negro modelo. This is a must make when the temps here in AZ go down...or not!!!

  2. Make it anyways Heather it's always good.

  3. I love chili! Perfect for a cold night! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living's Champion Chili Recipe Contest! It looks delicious!

  4. Hey thanks Sophia for the suggestion. I did now keep your fingers crossed I win. Thanks for looking.

  5. Looks like an amazing recipe. I have been entered into a chili cookoff this this is the recipe I plan to use. Do you have a suggested substitute for the beer? Some of the folks eating this cannot have the alchohol. Other than that...everything looks a wonderful. I plan to make it in advance and will let you know of the reviews :)

  6. They have non alcoholic mexican beer that can be used but if you are concerned about the alcohol it actually gets burned off the more you cook it. So if you cook it (simmer) for a couple of hours you will have about 5% of the original level. So if you put in a 6% alcohol beer in, in 2 hours it will be about 0.3% alcohol content which is less than your average non alcoholic beer. If not then I would use 1.5 cups of beef or veal stock. Hope this helps and please let me know how it turns out.