Vegetarian Beer Chili with Dogfish Head Punkin

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When it comes to blogging about cooking and baking, I’ll leave that to my wife. But when it comes to pairing food with beer or cooking with beer, I figure I can let it slide.

Using beer as an ingredient in a recipe is a fairly new concept to me but one I’ve found that works pretty well. Unlike pairing foods with beers, where one compliments the other, cooking with beer infuses the flavor of you brew of choice with the rest of the food.

I don’t have too much experience cooking with beer aside from cooking while drinking, but every once in a while I stumble across a recipe I decide to try out. A while back I did a macaroni and cheese made with Sam Adams‘ Latitude 48 IPA, and last week I decided to try making a quick vegetarian beer chili using a recipe I found on The Mash, the blog of the Brooklyn Brew Shop. It’s fast, easy and – best of all – uses whatever beer you want.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 medium bell peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coriander
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • A 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz. cans of kidney beans
  • A 12 oz. bottle of beer
  • Sour cream and green onion (optional)

For the beer, I selected Dogfish Head‘s Punkin. With all the spices going into the chili, I figured the flavors of Punkin would be a nice complement, and the flavor of the pumpkin would add a good flavor as well. But I imagine it’d work just as well with something roasted or rich.

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Here’s the ridiculously easy recipe:

Step 1: Finely chop the bell peppers, onions and jalapeno (after removing the seeds) and saute them in a large pot over medium heat until they’re soft.

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Step 2: Add chopped garlic, cumin, coriander and chili powder and saute for a minute or so.

Step 3: Add the cans of diced tomatoes and kidney beans and the bottle of beer and increase the heat to medium high.

Step 4: When it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Step 5: Enjoy!

While the flavors of Punkin didn’t really stand out, there’s definitely that sweetness from the pumpkin mixed in with everything else. None of the spices are very strong, but it does have a nice burnt and roasted note to it. It leans a little more toward the sweet side, but all in all a good and easy recipe.

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I paired it with a bottle of Westbrook‘s Marzenbier, which worked perfectly with the chili. The sweetness of the malt in the beer blended nicely with the chili flavors, and the breadiness also worked well with the richness of the tomatoes and beans.

All in all, it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

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4 thoughts on “Vegetarian Beer Chili with Dogfish Head Punkin

  1. I’m all over this. I’ve done stews with various beers and typically end up with a similar flavor – the beer is hiding somewhere but you can’t entirely make it out. When I try this I think I’ll throw a pumpkin beer in for the last simmering and see what happens.

    If I feel adventurous, I may just use the pumpkin cupcake recipe from your wife’s blog, too.

    • There’s a pumpkin beer bread recipe I want to try as well that’s pretty simple, and my wife is making a Guinness chocolate pie for me for my birthday. I’ll probably put up something on that, too. Those pumpkin cupcakes were excellent.

  2. So I decided to make this last night. I used a bottle of Big Boss’ Harvest Time and got essentially the same result, even though I let the chili cook first and then added the beer to simmer for about 30 more minutes. I really wanted something of a pumpkin essence so I said screw it and threw in some pumpkin pie spice, which naturally makes anything better. Gave it a nice fall “kick” or something of the sort.

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