Posts Tagged ‘cooking with beer’

This recipe yields a rich, meaty chili recipe that features deer meat! The deer meat for this recipe is from a lean, steak cut that I diced into cubes. I added additional ground pork to balance out the gamey flavor of the deer. The chili base is super flavorful–feel free to substitute other meats (beef, ground turkey, sausage, etc.) or even adapt it to a vegetarian dish and double the beans. But if you are looking for rich, smokey chili…then use the more gamey deer meat and you will be satisfied!

The ingredient list may look intimidating, but I bet you already have most of these ingredients in your pantry! As for the “Roman beans,” you can find these in the international aisle of most supermarkets…if you can’t find them, go ahead and use pinto, kidney, or black…or a combination of them all 🙂 This recipe makes 10-12 servings…so you can easily feed a crowd (or freeze leftovers for later). Another bonus: you will notice…no extra salt used in this recipe. The flavors from the venison and spices are enough to hold their own. If you have a real salt-tooth, you may want to add a dash of salt to your bowl of chili; otherwise, enjoy a no-added-salt chili recipe!

Chuck-wagon Deer Chili 

  • 1 medium-large white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 822 g can Roman beans
  • 6 ox can tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb venison (cut in approx 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 can light beer (or use 12 oz beef/chicken broth)
  • 1 dash ground mustard powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on your spiciness preference)
  • vegetable oil (approx 1 Tbsp)
  • olive oil (approx 2 Tbsp)
  • sour cream (optional topping)

To make:

Fully cook deer meat in saute pan in approx 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside. In a large dutch oven or stew pot saute onions, celery, red peppers in 2 Tbsp olive oil until softened. Add garlic, saute another minute. Add tomato paste, stir and saute another minute–add about 3 Tbsp of water if mixture becomes too thick. Add ground pork to mixture and saute approx 3 minutes. Add cooked deer meat, cilantro, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground mustard powder, liquid smoke and stir to combine (the mixture will be very thick). Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes. Lastly, gently stir in beans and beer. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Let cool slightly then serve up a heaping bowl topped with a dollop of sour cream…Enjoy!!


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Making yeast-based bread is something that I have yet to master. I am continuing to attempt smaller versions such as pretzels or yeast rolls, but an actual loaf is beyond my bread-making skill set at the movement. In the meantime I found an alternate “bread” that has a nice yeasty flavor due to the beer and is a quick, simple bread to make when you are still working on your yeast bread skills. Quick breads are a go-to for a weeknight meal that needs a nice carbohydrate to sop up any soup, gravy, or sauce that your main meal has. I served this bread along a smokey, beer and beef chili and it led to many perfect bites!

Cheddar Beer Bread

Cheddar Beer Bread

Adapted from a sweet beer bread  recipe I found in Southern Living Sept. ’03.


  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Dough ready to bake @ 350 degrees F

  • 1 (12 oz. bottle of beer) –any beer will do here. I chose Trader Joes Amber/Dark Lager. I prefer cooking with darker ales or lager to give the food a little more richness in the beer flavor, but if all you have is a trusty PBR or Bud–go ahead and toss it in.
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

To bake:

Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and cheese. Pour in beer and gently mix until combined. Try not to over mix. Pour dough into lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes. Pour melted butter of the top then bake an additional 10 minutes.

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This is one of two recipes I am featuring in a “Cooking with Beer” series. The Fall is a great season to explore rich foods and pair along with your favorite Ale or Lager. When cooking with beer, I opt to go for cheaper versions of dark/amber-colored beer that I can find at my local grocer. Trader Joes sells decent budget friendly versions that are great to use for cooking–they are inexpensive enough that you don’t feel bad sparing a bit of brew for the food recipe 🙂

Cook with Beer!

A simple way to add some depth and flavor to a quick chili is to add a little beer during the simmering process. You don’t want to boil the beer but just heat enough so that all of the flavors combine and some of the alcohol content is lost (if that is a concern for you). Overall the amount of beer used is quite small when you consider all of the other ingredients, but it is enough to give your regular quick, chili a little extra zing.

Smokey Beer & Beef Chili

  • 1 Spanish white onion, chopped (if you only have yellow onions that is ok too, but consider keeping a few, more flavorful white onions on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped (I love garlic so all of my recipes are heavy on the garlic, if you prefer using less 2 cloves is an acceptable lower limit)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (use ground turkey or chicken to lighten this recipe up a bit)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 6 oz can tomato paste (use almost entire can)
  • 2-3 chopped chipolte chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup beef broth (or you can use chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup beer (I used an amber lager, but you can use whatever beer you prefer–just not a fruity lambic or some sort of highly flavored beer)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream for topping (optional)

To make:

SautĂ© chopped onion in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5-7  minutes or until tender; add garlic, and sautĂ© another 1-2  minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, and cumin, and cook, stirring often, until meat begins to  crumble. Do not cook meat all the way until there is no pink. Doing so will prevent the sauce flavors to integrate with the meat. Leaving the meat slightly underdone at this step will enhance the sauce flavors absorbed–there will be plenty of additional cooking time where the beef will finish cooking. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, beans, broth, beer, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and fresh sprig of cilantro for garnish.

This chili pairs perfectly with cheddar beer bread to round out your “Cooking with Beer” night!

Smokey Beer & Beef Chili

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