Joe’s Chili

I’m fairly confident that this is the first beef recipe I’ve ever shared with you all.

Yep – I just checked.  This is the first one, and it’s not even mine… it’s Joe’s.  Clearly, I have never tried this, but it smells so good that I asked him to make me a meatless version (which he did because he is an awesome husband).

Joe’s Chili


Note from Joe: I make no claims of this being a traditional chili recipe. Just something to cook low and slow, and that comes out delicious in the end and is warm and hearty on a winter weekend. Since Kristen doesn’t eat meat, I’ll save this in the fridge and have it for lunch a couple of days during the week, or late at night after getting back from class.  It’s good stuff. Feel free to mess around and try your own combinations. If it’s well seasoned, chili is really hard to screw up.


  • I lb of ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 ground beef is best but feel free to substitute ground turkey and make sure there’s a decently high fat content. Ground turkey breast will dry out and not taste good).
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (you can substitute with fresh chopped tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and even tomato paste for a deeper, darker chili).
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced or chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced or chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced or chopped
  • A little olive oil
  • Half a bottle of beer (Note from Joe: I’ve been using a Russian Imperial Stout I brewed with a friend of mine, and it’s fantastic in chili. Any beer will do, but I prefer a darker, less carbonated, and less hoppy. A Guinness is a really great choice).
  • Seasoning to taste (there are no measurements)
    • Cumin
    • Chili powder (adds a nice dark red color)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Paprika (for smokiness)
  • A bit of cornstarch for thickening


1)  Oil your pot (Joe uses our Le Creuset) with a some olive oil. Let it get nice and hot.

2)  Add a third of your ground beef. Let it brown and take it out. Do the same for the rest.  By splitting the meat up, it browns rather than steams (if you put too much ground beef in at once it will be more grey than brown).

3)  Chop the garlic, pepper, and onion. Add them to the pan and sauté them for a couple of minutes until they smell delicious. Add all of the beef back in, and mix it all together.

4)  Add the tomatoes. Bring it to a boil, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. That’s the good stuff.

5)  Add the beans, liquid and all. Bring it back to a boil.

6)  Add your spices and mix generously. The chili should turn from a lighter red to a deep red, This is good.

7)  Let this simmer for about an hour, top on or off, depending on how thick you want your chili. Stir every now and then.

8)  Bring the pot back up to a boil and add half of the bottle of beer. Drink the rest because beer is delicious when you’re cooking in a hot kitchen.

9)  If you like a spicier chili, and don’t care much for tradition, add a squirt of sriracha. I honestly put this stuff on almost everything.

10)  Let this simmer for as long as you prefer (Note from Joe: If I’m hungry I sometimes eat it half an hour or so after adding the beer. If I have time and start cooking early enough, I’ll let it cook down for a couple of hours. It’s delicious either way).

11)  Enjoy!  It’s great plain, with a sliced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, and even hummus.

 Psst – You can check out more recipes here!

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  • Melanie

    My gosh, that looks delicious!

  • Ainhoa

    This looks awesome! It’s lunch time right now and I haven’t prepared anything, I could really use a bowl of chili.

  • John @ Our Home from Scratch

    Mmmm MEAT! Looks really good! I like the beer tip. I’ll have to try that!

  • Jess @ Little House. Big Heart.

    Hmm… I’ve never added beer to my chili before! That sounds like a great idea!

    And we always make our chili with venison, but turkey would probably be a healthier version.

  • Amy@BR

    I was hungry before I read this, and now I’m half dead. Looks soooo good!!!

  • Jen

    Sounds and looks so good!

  • michelle@decorandthedog

    Beer in chili. Weird and awesome.

  • Jan

    Wow that Chilli looks devine. It is summertime here but come winter I definitely want to try this one out.

  • Kelly @ Corner of Main

    Yum. I love chili. And now I want some!

  • Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    This looks delicious! Definitely going to have to try making chili with beer next time!

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