Sunday, February 03, 2013

Shredded Beef and Four-Bean Beer Chili

There are a few things that set this recipe apart from my traditional chili recipe.  For starters, I use four varieties of beans.  Secondly, I use masa (corn flour) in this version.  I, also, use shredded beef instead of ground beef.  And, the last difference?  Beer, baby!  (To quote The Pioneer Woman ... "may I call you baby?")

We love chili served over corn chips.  Sometimes we buy those little individual bags of corn chips, snip open the side of the bag and ladle chili over the chips.  Top with some shredded cheese, diced onions and a dollop of sour cream ... and you've got a winner, winner, "chili corn chip" dinner.

We, also, sometimes serve this chili over some burritos that I like to get from Trader Joe's.  This is the way we served the chili tonight.

This chili recipe itself is super economical.  You only need a small amount of beef (a quarter of a pound), so many times when I buy a large roast or boneless beef ribs, I'll divide up the package and tuck a small portion of the meat into the freezer just for this chili.  With so many veggies and tons of beans, you don't need a huge amount of meat.  Yeah for the pocketbook!  (Does anyone really say pocketbook anymore?)

Of course, you don't have to serve this chili over corn chips or burritos ... the chili is mighty tasty all on its own with some cornbread on the side.  Below is the recipe for the chili with instructions at the bottom of the post for serving over burritos, if desired.  Any brand or type of burrito that you prefer would work.

Yields 6 - 8 servings.


1/4 pound beef, cut into small chunks (I used boneless beef ribs this time)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 onions, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced finely
1 cup green, red, yellow or orange pepper (or a combination), chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel (diced tomatoes and chilies) or 1 can of diced tomatoes (Ro-Tel will yield a much spicier chili)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 cups beer (I prefer Corona)
1 can dark or light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans (with liquid)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup masa
1/2 cup warm water


In a large soup pot set to medium-high heat, drizzle in just enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan.  Season beef chunks with salt and pepper.  Once oil is very hot, place the beef chunks into the pot and sear (brown) on all sides. 

Add in just enough water to almost cover the meat and drop in the bouillon cubes.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and braise until the beef is tender (the amount of time will depend of the type and size of your beef chunks - mine took about 45 minutes).

Once meat is fall-apart tender, you can choose to leave it in chunks ... or do as I do and shred it.  I use two forks and shred it right in the pan.

Add in the onions, garlic, pepper, tomato sauce, Ro-tel, oregano, cumin, chili powder, beer and all of the beans.

Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat - uncovered - and allow to cook until veggies are tender (about twenty minutes).  If it seems way too thick, add in a little more beer or some water.  Check and adjust for seasoning.  Sometimes I find that it needs a little salt.

Mix together the masa and 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl.

Pour masa mixture into the chili.  Stir to combine, then simmer for another fifteen or twenty minutes.

Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.

To serve over burritos, we brush thawed burritos with olive oil on all sides and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes ... turning burritos over once during cooking.  Burritos can, also, be pan-fried in a little canola or vegetable oil.

Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions and sour cream, if desired.

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