ZAP Bites: Hot Chili for Cold Days

ChiliImage via Chowhound

It’s finally happened. There is a chill in the air, it’s dark by the time you leave the office…that’s right, brace yourself: Winter is almost here.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall weather with the same passion the general public feels towards puppies and pumpkin spiced lattes but winter is always a tough transition for me. Almost instantly, I go from feeling energized to craving lazy afternoons cuddled up by the fire with a glass of wine.

And for those days, there is truly nothing better than an excellent chili recipe. A friend of mine made this chili for me once and it changed my world. Who knew you could make chili with beer instead of stock? I pretty much love anything with Sriracha too and the combination here is pretty spectacular. I typically opt for ground turkey but for a richer flavor, I recommend bison meat. You can thank me later J

Sriracha Chili

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup sriracha
  • 12 fluid oz dark beer (porter or stout)
  • One 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • Two 15 oz cans red kidney beans, drained
  • Cilantro, corn chips or chopped red onion for garnish

Season meat with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over med-high heat.  Add the meat and brown, breaking up any large clumps and stirring occasionally.  After about 5 minutes, add the onions and peppers.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, bay leaves, tomato paste, and Sriracha.  Cook for a minute, stirring continuously.

Deglaze the pan with half the beer and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Add the remaining beer, tomatoes and beans.  Cover, and maintain a low simmer for 1 ½ for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with corn chips, onions and/or cilantro.

Morgan Bellock, Group Director