Growing up, my mom allowed us to select the meal for our respective birthdays. Every year, without fail, homemade chili was my meal of choice. As a winter baby, the warm and hearty concoction presented itself as a natural meal to warm the bones and the soul.
As an added bonus, we would eat on the same pot of chili for days. It was truly the gift that kept on giving!
Needless to say, chili holds a special place in my heart that I treasure to this day. This Drunken Two-Meat Chili is an elevated version of my childhood birthday meal. Not to worry, it’s not going to leave you tipsy as the clever recipe name may suggest. The addition of stout beer simply adds another layer of flavor that provides depth and warmth. Boasting both ground beef and spicy sausage, this hearty classic is sure to satisfy with every bite.
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Next Level Toppings for Your Chili
Chili is 100% a complete meal in a bowl and doesn’t require any accouterments to make this a truly satisfying winter dish. But there are a whole host of toppings that can enhance and elevate your bowl of goodness. Check out some of my suggestions:
- Shredded cheese – Sharp cheddar, Colby jack and pepper jack are all great options.
- Sour cream is a common topping for chili. You could also whip up some makeshift crema by mixing some sour cream with a bit of water and lime juice and zest.
- If you’re feeling adventurous or you don’t have any sour cream on hand, try some cottage cheese. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but this was how I grew up eating chili thanks to my mother’s pregnancy cravings, and it is honestly good. Seriously, I have legit converted people to the dark side over this.
- Fresh herbs such as cilantro, chives and green onions
- Avocado, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges
- I grew up eating chili with saltine or oyster crackers, but corn and tortilla chips are fantastic options as well. I’ve been known to throw on some crushed Doritos on occasion as well. I have an undiagnosed addiction to Doritos…
Try Making Your Chili in a Crockpot
If you’re looking for a hearty weekday meal, this recipe can be made in a crockpot. There are few things better than coming home to the fragrant smell of dinner after a long day at work.
If you’re going to make this in the crockpot, brown your meat in a skillet. Then remove and soften the onions, peppers, jalapeno and garlic in the same skillet. Pour enough of the beer in the skillet to deglaze and loosen up all of the yummy, flavor bits before transferring to the crockpot. Add your browned meat and the rest of your ingredients to the crockpot and let cook on low for at least 5-6 hours.
Voila! Supper is ready for serving as soon as your feet hit your doormat.
Chili is a Crowd Pleaser
Chili is such a filling and hearty meal, and the ingredients are super affordable. As such, it makes a wonderful dish to serve for a party or get-together. For one particularly cold Halloween, I served this chili for a crowd, and it was a big hit!
You can jazz it up and make it fun by providing a whole array of toppings so that everyone can customize their own bowls.
A crockpot of hot chocolate for kiddos and mulled wine for adults really round things out.
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What to Do With Leftover Chili
As much as I love chili, eating more than two bowls at a time has proven to be a difficult task. Which is probably for the best… So we end up with leftover chili every time I make it. Honestly, that is one of the things I love about it. Cook one time and have multiple meals? Yes, please!
Kept in the fridge in an air-tight container, your chili will stay good for about 3 days. Beyond that, leftovers should be transferred to the freezer. If you’re looking for a creative way to repurpose your leftover chili, give this Chili and Cornbread Casserole a try. Chili dogs are one of my go-to’s as well.
If you plan to freeze your leftovers for a future meal, allow the chili to cool to room temperature before putting it away. It is important to avoid putting hot food directly in the freezer, and fridge for that matter, as the addition of hot food will affect the temperature of the food around it. Cold food should stay cold until ready to use to avoid your food spoiling or providing bacteria with an inviting environment for growth.
Once your chili has cooled, transfer to freezer bags, push as much air out as you can, and securely seal. It is a good practice to label freezer bags with what is in them and the date they are added to the freezer. When practical, I will also include how many servings are in the bag.
One of my favorite tricks for freezing food is to freeze flat. This makes storage so much easier and allows the food to thaw much quicker due to the increased surface area. Frozen, chili will keep for 3-4 months.
Begin by browning your lean ground beef and sausage in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. I use this stockpot.
Remove the meat and set aside in a strainer or paper towel-lined sheet pan to allow some of the excess grease to drain off.
In the same pot that you used to brown your meat, add your onions, peppers, jalapenos and garlic, and cook until softened.
Pour your lager in and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan and loosen up any flavorful brown bits that may be hanging around from browning your meat previously.
Add your meat back in along with your beans, tomatoes, and seasonings.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!
Drunken Two-Meat Chili
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1 large white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 bell peppers diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 2 12 ounce bottles of stout or beer of choice
- 1 28 ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsps chili powder
- 4 tsps cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- Brown the ground beef and sausage over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the meat and set aside in a strainer to allow some of the excess grease to drain off.
- In the same pot that you cooked your meat in, add your onions, peppers and jalapenos and cook until softened. Add your minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- While still over the heat, pour in the beer to deglaze the pan. Add the browned meat back to the pot along with the beans, tomatoes and spices.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!
What are your tried-and-true toppings for chili?
Be sure to leave me a note in the comments if you try cottage cheese in lieu of sour cream!
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