It’s Always a Good Time for Chili

It’s Always a Good Time for Chili

Just because winter is over doesn’t mean a killer bowl of spicy beef and beans is out of the question.

In fact, the Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off this year is right around the corner (May 6).

Here is a recipe for one of our very favorite versions (with Mexican beer!)….


Spicy Grass-Fed Beef & Bean Chili with Modelo Beer & 5 Peppers

2 cups dried Pinquito beans

½ t baking soda

1 t salt

2 tomatillos husked and cleaned

1 Roma tomato

3 New Mexican chilies –

Seeds and stems removed

1 T. salt

3 chipotles in adobe

1 T. beef fat or pork lard

1 # ground grass-fed beef

1 T. dried thyme

½ t red chili flakes

1 T. salt

1 t ground black pepper

1 white onion minced

5 cloves garlic minced

1 Modelo beer

1 cup of beef stock

1 T. ground cumin

1 T. Mexican oregano

2 bay leaves

1-2 Serrano chilies minced

Habanero salt


Cilantro chopped

Daisy Cheddar

Crème fraiche


Makes about 2 quarts

Start beans in cold water with enough to cover by 4 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover for 1 hour. Drain beans of cooking liquid and add new water to pot to cover by 2 inches. Bring to simmer and add baking soda and salt. Cook gently until tender (adding a bit more water if necessary) then turn off heat and hold in liquid.


Start with a pan of water, enough to cover all ingredients but chipotles with about 2 inches to spare. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes or until all are tender remove ingredients using slotted spoon and transfer to a blender with chipotles. Puree. Save cooking liquid.


Start with a large Dutch oven style pot with lid over medium high heat. Add fat and beef and spices. Brown well. Add onion and continue to cook until translucent and bottom of pot has nice fond. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, just a few seconds.


Add tomatillo-chili puree to pot and cook a few seconds until rusty in color. Add beer and deglaze pot. Add water from tomatillo-chili puree and stock to pot. Add cumin, oregano and bay and bring up to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by 1/3 volume of liquid and add beans with bean liquid to pot. Simmer slightly covered (lid ajar) for about one hour. Add minced Serrano and taste for salt. If chili is still a bit loose, continue cooking until desired consistency is reached. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning. Remember to add habanero salt to finish.


Garnish the chili with chopped cilantro, cheddar cheese and crème fraiche.

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