Chili. It’s a crowd pleaser for a reason and it just got even better. With the addition of dark beer and an Instant Pot, it’s magical. Chili that tastes like it lazily simmered away half of the afternoon in 30 minutes.
My original intention with this chili was bison instead of ground beef, however I didn’t embrace the idea of a $12 serving of chili. When did that happen? I’m used to paying a little more for food, but the price of bison has gone up quite a bit since the last time I purchased it. Once I regained my composure and the mothers of young children took their hands away from the delicate little ears, I set off toward the ground beef.
Like most people, we are on a budget. The thought of spending as much on bison as I would for TWO substantial trips to the vegetable market made me cringe. I couldn’t do it. As much as I wanted bison, I wasn’t willing to part with that much moolah for it. I also didn’t feel like getting any disgruntled messages about the cost like I’m sure I’ll get from the whole of Texas explaining that chili shouldn’t have beans. I’m a Northerner, deal with it.
Why Shiner in my chili?
I have this thing with local products. If an area is known for something that they produce, I must try it. I did my research before my first trip to Texas and of course it was on the list. I usually go for small batch craft beers, but it’s Shiner. Let me clear about something here – the Shiner folks don’t even know I exist. They didn’t sponsor this post, nor have I received anything from anyone (although I wouldn’t turn down free beer). To reiterate, it’s my own personal preference. The love affair started on my first visit and I haven’t looked back.
Speaking of beer… I was at a wine/beer store and decided to put together a random 6 pack. If you are like me and you enjoy trying new things, this is the best way to do it. I usually pick things that have crazy names or a cool label, because I’m a weirdo. However, this bottle of Bohemian Black Lager was sitting all by itself and I thought “Hmmm, I’ll bet you are damn tasty”. I waited and waited for the perfect occasion to crack open this bottle and it was well worth the anticipation. It made magic in this chili. The only thing I would do differently next time is make a double batch.
- 1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 29 oz. can red beans (I used Goya small red beans)
- 1 1/2 cups bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup poblano pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 4 Tbsp chili powder
- 4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 bottle Shiner Bohemian Black Lager (or other dark beer)
- Choose the "Sauté" setting on the Instant Pot and let it heat up. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Shut off the Instant Pot, remove the pot from inside and drain the fat from the beef.
- Put the pot back inside and again choose "sauté". Add canola oil, peppers, onions, garlic, celery, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the beef. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes, just until they begin to brown. Press "cancel" to shut off sauté function.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and beer. Put lid on, make sure that the lever is set to "sealing" and press "manual". Set timer to 30 minutes, go put your feet up and relax for the next half hour.
- I let the pressure reduce on it's own for about 15 minutes, then I run out of patience and move the lever to "venting". Use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from the steam, if you are concerned you might get burned.
- This serves 6 VERY generously, 7 "normal" servings or 8 servings with copious amounts of cheese, avocado, sour cream and crackers 😉
- Bell peppers- I used orange because I had it. Red or yellow would also work, but I tend to stay away from green pepper. Again, personal preference.