Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Beef and Dark Beer Chili

"It has all the hallmarks of diner chili."

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

On the official chili allegiance list, you'll see my name forever pledged to Texas chili. I'll spare the adjectives, and just say that the thick bowl of red is one of my favorite foods. So what am I doing with this guy, one that uses ground beef, loads of tomatoes, and, gasp, beans! See, I grew up in the Midwest and have a true soft spot for this style which seems to be served at every diner across the Heartland. I have some fond memories, but could I translate that into a recipe that actually tasted good?

I fell for this recipe from Bon Appetit immediately. It has all the hallmarks of diner chili: loads of tomatoes and more vegetables than you can imagine. Yet it is also peppered with some interesting additions. Thanks to the toasted cumin and coriander, it has a truly haunting aroma. There's also a teeny teaspoon of chipotle, something I may add much more of next time. But this dish isn't about the heat. It's about pure comfort.

This recipe won't replace my love for authentic Texas chili, but it is surprisingly tasty dish perfect for the upcoming fall chill.

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