Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Smoked beer —the result of infusing a weightier style of beer, such as brown ale, porter, or stout, with smoking agents—has ancient roots in Germany but has been recently revived by American brewers aiming to put their own twist on the old style. This recipe combines the fireside flavor with a classic chili. Smoked beer is available at many gourmet markets and liquor stores. Schlenkerla Smokebeer was used here. Adapted from Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄3 cup diced smoked chicken-apple sausages, such as Aidells (1 link)
- 3⁄4 lb ground pork
- 3⁄4 lb ground beef
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 1 large onion)
- 1 1⁄3 cups chopped fennel (about 1 small bulb)
- 2 tablespoons chopped red chili peppers, such as Fresno peppers
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 to 5 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed, toasted
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 (32 ounce) cancrushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 (25 ounce) bottlesmoked beer, such as Schlenkerla Smokebeer (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1⁄2 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in water and drained
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- sour cream, for garnish
- 6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, pork, and beef. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is browned and no bits of pink remain, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the onion, fennel, red chile, garlic, chili powder, cumin, fennel seed, cayenne, and tomato paste, and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar, crushed tomatoes and juice, smoked beer, and soaked kidney beans.
- Bring the chili to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until beans are tender, about 90 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the salt.
- Serve the chili garnished with sour cream and sliced scallions, and, of course, with a glass of smoked beer.