BEER...in chili

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Sasaku
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2004/08/21 20:52:52 (permalink)

BEER...in chili

What's the best beer to put in chili?
#1

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    Bushie
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/21 22:29:26 (permalink)
    Contrary to almost every chili cook on this board, I don't recommend beer in chili. I've been experimenting with chili recipes since I was a kid (I'll be 48 in Nov), and in my opinion, beer has always detracted from the flavor.

    However, great chili cooks I've known have recommended these, in order:

    Lone Star
    Shiner
    Budweiser

    #2
    Sasaku
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 08:15:17 (permalink)
    OK, so what's the best liquid for chili?
    #3
    Grillmeister
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 09:19:13 (permalink)
    Bushie's right. Using beer for "the recipe" is what you tell your wife when you walk in with a case of Bud.
    I use plain water in my chili and let the spices do their thing. You'll know you've done it right when your bowl of red develops a soul of its own.
    Now, pash me shum mo of dat Lone Schtar burr.....
    #4
    1bbqboy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 15:29:56 (permalink)
    NEVER USE WATER! the secret ingredients are: V-8 juice, & beef base or beef bouillion. You can throw a can of Snap-e-tom in too, if you can stand the heat. I go both ways cuz the tom tends towards the vinegar side of things, which is...OK, sometimes. I'm one of those who never makes the same batch twice.
    Beer: I'd go with a porter or brown ale, something heavy, not a "light beer". You have to let it sit out open to rid it of carbonation. you can steam the meat and spices by pouring in the beer along with the spices, and letting it cook down, the add the other stuff.
    Bill
    #5
    BT
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 17:27:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    NEVER USE WATER! the secret ingredients are: V-8 juice, & beef base or beef bouillion.

    Bill


    I'm nearly as offended by the use of canned beef bouillion in anything as you are the use of water. IMHO, it has very little beef flavor but far too much SALT. The best thing, if you want beef flavor, would be a good demi-glace', and I have encountered those in gourmet markets recently. Short of that, there are an increasing number of chef-quality beef bases or frozen stocks being marketed--the most common being "Better Than Bouillion" (and it is!).

    Or, you can make your own--just bake some meaty beef bones for 2 hours or so at maybe 300 degrees until they turn dark brown. Then throw 'em in a pot with a couple onions (unpeeled, but quartered), some carrots, some celery and any other veggie scraps you've got around (except maybe green pepper which can give an odd flavor to stock). Fill the pot with cold water, heat on the stove until it's simmering and put it in the oven (covered) at 225 degrees overnight or longer. Strain the resultant stock and voila!

    If all this seems too hard and you are determined to use canned broth, I'd go with low-sodium chicken broth which is much better than any canned beef broth or bouillion.
    #6
    Grampy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 18:05:16 (permalink)
    To add to this stew, I reconstitute ancho and other dried peppers, and I put them in a blender with the liquid. That's all the liquid I ever really need. I like my chili (chile colorado) thick. A splash of chile pepper brine also adds a contrast. If using beer, I would go with half a bottle of Dos Equis dark.
    #7
    BT
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 19:23:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    To add to this stew, I reconstitute ancho and other dried peppers, and I put them in a blender with the liquid. That's all the liquid I ever really need. I like my chili (chile colorado) thick. A splash of chile pepper brine also adds a contrast. If using beer, I would go with half a bottle of Dos Equis dark.


    Well, that's probably the purist way to do it. We could get into this discussion about whether tomatoes belong in chili, but I'll just say that while I put 'em in mine and like it that way, I go along with those who argue they aren't "authentic".

    Do you soak the dried peppers to "undry" them? Do you somehow skin them? I tried doing this once and ended up with little bits of dry, even sharp, pepper skin in my chili and I didn't like that.
    #8
    Grampy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 20:18:53 (permalink)
    Actually, I dry fry them before I reconstitute them, which makes the peel problem moot. And, in summer, I have absolutely no aversion to using my bounty of tomatoes for an "un-purist" but great chili.
    #9
    Bushie
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 20:30:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    To add to this stew, I reconstitute ancho and other dried peppers, and I put them in a blender with the liquid.

    That's exactly what I do, but I use Kitchen Basics beef stock as the liquid. Ancho is my pepper of choice for chili.
    #10
    Grampy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/22 22:50:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    To add to this stew, I reconstitute ancho and other dried peppers, and I put them in a blender with the liquid.

    That's exactly what I do, but I use Kitchen Basics beef stock as the liquid. Ancho is my pepper of choice for chili.


    I cheat with Minor's beef base. With all of the stock I make fresh, Minor's beef and chicken base are still lifesavers. And long live the Ancho!
    #11
    UncleVic
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/23 00:26:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sasaku

    OK, so what's the best liquid for chili?


    I use V-8 as mentioned above, But I like to also use the juice from my stewed tomatos. I'll drain the can into the pot, then hand shred the tomatos into chunks and throw them in the pot also... As for the beef base deal, best I've used was in a commercial setting made by LeGout... Looks like black tar and has a really good flavor! But homecooking my chili, I just use a good ground sirloin and dont need any base added... Just whatever the kitchen cabinet and fridge have to offer!
    #12
    1bbqboy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/23 00:30:22 (permalink)
    I'll agree most beef bouillion is too salty, but there are a few beef bases that add some intensity without the salt. I never use canned. I'm usually making Chili for a family to eat so spending more time making stock than the dish it goes in isn't in the cards. Don't know Minor's, I'll have to look for it. I believe Kitchen Basics is the brand we get at Costco.
    BT, I don't think I'm offended by using water, I was simply taught when I was a kid the Texas way and the Missouri way of making Chili, both of which involved similar techniques to all stated here. My dad added beans even though he was a born and bred Texan, but they were fresh pintos, so perfectly fine with me. Red, Kidney or Both in My family's Missouri version, but no beer.
    #13
    Sasaku
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/23 08:13:18 (permalink)
    I used some Spicy V-8 juice and a can of homemade salsa.
    #14
    BT
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/23 20:31:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic
    As for the beef base deal, best I've used was in a commercial setting made by LeGout... Looks like black tar and has a really good flavor!


    This is available at Smart & Final stores if anyone has access to those. In fact, they are a pretty good source for quite a few commercial restaurant supplies but are open to the general public. I shop there a lot.
    #15
    berndog
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/23 21:01:01 (permalink)
    I've made chili with and without beer, and to be honest, I don't think I could tell the difference over all the good spices and other flavors.

    I would prefer to have my beer on the side, cold, as a chaser to the chili .
    #16
    hermitt4d
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/08/24 05:01:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sasaku

    OK, so what's the best liquid for chili?

    When I was first teaching myself to cook and venturing beyond the recipes written down by my mother, I blundered across Wick Fowler's 2 Alarm Chili Mix in the grocery store and used it exclusively for years. It calls for 1 8oz. can of tomato sauce and 2 cans of water for 2 lbs. of meat.

    I was very surprised many years later to discover some people have issues with the use of any tomatoes in chili and the opinions are as strong as those concerning beans. I've only made chili once or twice without tomato sauce, and I definitely prefer tomato sauce over whole tomato products, but I have had some very good bowls of chili that I don't think had any tomato product in them.

    In the late 60s and 70s, Shiner Beer was the favorite of hippies and the counter-culture set in Houston and Austin; it was the only beer on the menu of a very popular restaurant in Houston that served macrobiotic dishes. I never really cared for Shiner that much but on the urging of friends I used it a couple of times in the Wick Fowler mix, but I can't recall what effect it had, other than that I stopped using it! That brew has since been reformulated, I think, to give it a more mainstream flavor profile, and the beer from that brewery that is favored now (by many on this board, tho not me) is Shiner Bock.

    I agree with what's already been said that chili is really about the spices. I would think the formula would be to select a beer that you like and try adding a little bit of it to your chili to see if you like the taste. I would tend to favor a dark beer.

    Interesting statistics: in the Stern's Chili Nation, which has recipes from all 50 states, only 6 call for beer, about half call for the addition of either tomatoes or tomato sauce or paste. Beef stock and chicken stock are not indexed.

    In the chapter on chili in Jamison and Jamison's Texas Home Cooking, of 12 recipes, 3 call for beef stock, 5 call for tomatoes in some form, 3 call for beer and one (a 2 time world championship chili) calls for chicken stock, tomatoes and beer!

    #17
    Buckshot
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/10/06 18:53:27 (permalink)
    I always use beer (Shiner Bock) in my homemade chili.

    Buckshot
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    EdSails
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/10/06 19:19:07 (permalink)
    I usually use some of the malt liquors (Schlitz, Old English 800 etc.) in my chili. while they are undrinkable by themselves, the seem to blend in well with my chili.
    #19
    downtown
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/10/08 16:41:09 (permalink)
    LOL -- a group of us had a chili cook-off Labor Day weekend. I was checking around some chili recipes and ran across this. the ingredients alone skeered me!

    1 lb Chorizo, removed from casing
    1 lb Hot Italian Sausage, removed from casing
    1 lb Chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
    2 lb Hickory-smoked bacon
    10 Habenero peppers
    5 Scotch Bonnet peppers
    10 Jalepeno peppers
    4 Poblano peppers
    4 Banana peppers
    4 Anaheim peppers
    2 cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    2 large onions
    10 cloves of garlic
    2 bottles Negro Mordelo
    2 cups Quervo 1800
    2 cups Wild Turkey
    2 large cans tomato paste
    1 large can tomato sauce
    2 cans Rotelle Extra Hot diced tomatoes
    2 cans kidney beans
    1 can black beans
    1 can pinto beans
    1 can navy/great northern bean
    1 can garbanzo
    1 bar dark bakers' chocolate
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1/4 cup cumin
    1/4 cup basil
    1/4 cup oregano
    Salt and pepper to taste
    #20
    1bbqboy
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/10/08 19:25:59 (permalink)
    That does NOT sound good! Who won your cookoff, DT?
    #21
    enginecapt
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/11/29 18:52:49 (permalink)
    Chili opinions are like you know whats, everyone has one. Years ago, I got into the habit of adding beer where I used to add water, and have been entranced by the flavor ever since, as have been my victims who shared a bowl with me. As to what beer to add, I go with whatever's in the ice box. At this particular point in time, it's Rolling Rock. If I'm lucky enough to have a stock of Canadian Moosie or Steam Whistle laid in, that's what goes in the chili pot. I think I'll give the rest of the turkey soup to the dog. I need the big pot for chili.
    #22
    Art Deco
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/11/30 10:17:41 (permalink)
    I marinate the beef overnight in most of a bottle of Shiner Bock. When I'm ready to sear the beef, I drain off this liquid to use in reconstituting the dried anchos. I'll generally add a small can of tomato sauce, but you really don't need anything in my opinion but beef, beer, chilies, garlic, salt, cayenne, cumin and maybe a touch of masa harina to tighten it up a bit...
    #23
    ericats
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/11/30 11:18:03 (permalink)
    I use Miller Genuine Draft in my chili.
    #24
    Theedge
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/11/30 11:34:42 (permalink)
    Never heard of beer in chili. I keep mine pretty basic and use what ever tomato product happens to be in the pantry. I do on occassion add a dolop of peanut butter to mine. And of course always Habenaro.
    #25
    EliseT
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/12/01 02:31:17 (permalink)
    In my opinion, a ground beef chili doesn't have the ability to stand up to a dark beer like a pork chili might. I only ever used Budweiser in my beef chili, but have found that beef broth and canned chopped tomatoes are better. I don't add salt to my chili, and the beef broth doesn't seem to make it too salty.
    #26
    cleveland66
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2004/12/07 08:55:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    NEVER USE WATER! the secret ingredients are: V-8 juice...


    Bill!!! Thanks!!! I've always used water, beef stock, or beer in my chili. This sunday I used V-8, and it was really good. I was making venison chili (not a big fan, but the meat was provided), and the V-8 seemed to "smooth" out some of the gamey flavor.

    thanks again!
    #27
    ctfrasier
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2005/03/17 23:01:09 (permalink)
    I've used beer in my chili and cannot detect any real difference. One beverage I have used that does make a difference is Dr. Pepper. One can in a pot of chili gives it just a little sweetness that nicely complements the spices.
    #28
    wesleyman
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2005/03/21 11:14:24 (permalink)
    About 3 years ago I began adding 1 bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager to my chili. I think it added an extra dimension to the chili. It added kind of a certain smoothness to go along with the other flavors.

    Oh and this is my first post after lurking for months on the site.




    #29
    macguy4321
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    RE: BEER...in chili 2005/04/06 20:32:09 (permalink)
    I occationally throw in some Bourbon in my chili.
    #30
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