Here I go again with another recipe for some messy, ugly food. Who doesn’t like chili though? It’s great in a bowl or you can use it to top nachos, french fries, hot dogs, you name it. I know this is a little last minute for tonights big game, but the beauty of this recipe is that it won’t take you more than an hour to make. Plus, you may have already made chili and could be looking for beers to pair with it. I found the recipe for what’s called “Fast’n Easy Chili” from a cook book called 100 Best Favorite Brand Name Recipes. I consulted Garrett Oliver again and he recommends American Pale Ale, Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, Irish Stout, and Smoked Beers for Chili Con Carne. I decided to go with Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale out of Delaware and Yards Brewing Company’s India Pale Ale from Philadelphia, PA.
Chili Con Carne
- 1 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 1 envelope of Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix
- 1 can (15 to 19 ounces) red kidney beans or black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
Suggested Beer Styles:
- American Pale Ale
- Brown Ale
- India Pale Ale
- Irish Stout
- Smoked Beers
Once you have all of all of the ingredients, this is practically the easiest thing to make ever. Start by browning the ground beef in a pan and draining out all of the fat. After that, all you have to do is mix everything together in a pot (my old homebrewing pot worked perfectly). Bring the ingredients to a boil in the pot and then lower the heat to low. Once the heat is lowered, cover the pot and simmer the chili for 20 minutes stirring every few minutes. Make sure to test the chili after the 20 minutes to make sure it’s spiced to your liking. I found mine to be a little bland and ended up adding more chili powder and a little garlic powder. From here you’re all ready to go. I like to put my chili over a bed of rice and top it with some cheddar cheese and sour cream. I’m also a big fan of crescent rolls (as seen below).
Dogfish Head – India Brown Ale
Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale pours a deep brown with a thick, creamy tan head. This beer has a tremendous aroma of sweet malt and caramel. According to the Dogfish website, this beer is brewed as a mixture between a malty, caramel Scotch Ale and a hoppy IPA. This 7.2% ABV ale is dry hopped, similar to Dogfish Head’s 60 and 90 minute IPA but, to me, comes across with a far more subtle hop flavor than dry hopping would leave me to expect. India Brown Ale is a full bodied, rich beer with coffee and other dark tones.
Yards Brewing Company – India Pale Ale
Yards India Pale Ale pours amber in color with a clean, bright, white head. In the spirit of IPA’s, this 7.0% ABV ale has a prominent hop flavor. The hop tones do not dry the finish of the IPA too much and remain refreshing. Yards’ is a crisp and flavorful IPA that is very well balanced.
Good Hop Recommendation – Yards Brewing Company India Pale Ale
This may have been the toughest decision I’ve made in a food pairing yet. Both of these beers were really fantastic and are worth picking up if you see them at your local distributor. I think my decision came down to the difference in styles. I really cannot say enough about Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale. It may have made a short list among my favorite beers. The India Brown Ale, however, is unlike any other brown ale I’ve had. It is far more creamy, full bodied, and sweet and, as a result, I found it to be much more appropriate for a rich desert. Yards IPA is a solid India Pale Ale that fits the flavor profile well. I found that the IPA was a lighter bodied option that didn’t fill me up as much as the India Brown Ale. Both beers packed a punch as far as flavor was concerned so they stood up to the chili’s spice well. In the end, I would say have an IPA with your chili and an India Brown Ale for desert.
Tim Meyers (Tim@GoodHopBadHop.com)