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Kickin Chili

Kickin Chili

A hint of cinnamon and dark beer gives this chili a distinctive taste. Try using Negra Modelo dark beer from Mexico. Since this makes a big batch, it's perfect for a party or game-day tailgating!

  • Yield: About 5 quarts, 12 entree-size servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Essence
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Four 12-ounce bottles dark beer
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 cups cooked red kidney beans (see Note) or four 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • 1 cup finely chopped green onions, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, Southwest Essence, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Skim off as much fat as possible. Add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Serve with the cheese, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.

  • Note: To make 6 cups cooked red kidney beans: Soak 1 pound dried beans for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Recipe Details