Recipe: Rogue Chipotle Ale “Chili”

Sheldon Cooper: Does it have beans?

Priya Koothrapali: Yes…
Sheldon Cooper: Then it’s not chili.
(later on)
Sheldon Cooper: This is quite good… whatever it is.
from Big Bang Theory, season 4.
Well, whatever this is, it’s been infused with Rogue Chipotle Ale.

I went against the rule that one does not serve people something he cooked only for the first time. At leas t this dish I was able to prepare one day ahead for a beer-pairing dinner to celebrate G.W.F. Hegel’s birthday. The backbone of my recipe was adapted from a couple posted by Nick Kindelsperger on Serious Eats and his blog, The Paupered Chef. The former recipe is more of a “quick and easy” chili, while the latter is of the hardcore competition type. The essential difference here is the cooking time. My dish fell somewhere in the middle, taking me a total of maybe two hours to finish everything.
The Paupered Chef’s version suggests doing three batches of “spice dumps.” I did this, but at a fraction of the cooking time. I even made my own chili powder using some homemade dried bird’s eye chilis (siling labuyo) following a recipe from How to Cook Everything by The God of Home Cooks, Mark Bittman. The rest of my major changes were using green finger chilies (siling pansigang) instead of the habanero and jalapeno peppers, and of course, replacing all the liquid in the recipe with some Rogue Chipotle Ale. As the bottle itself says, Dare * Dream * Risk!
hand-ground homemade toasted chili powder
I think I had a winner with this first attempt at beer-infused “not-chili.” It had a strong back-heat with just a touch of the smoky chipotle flavor from the ale. I would have wanted more heat up front, but I learned later on that this is usually lessened by the long cooking. I guess one more spice dump at the end of the cooking process would add a bit more immediate heat. At the dinner, I paired this with some Anderson Valley Anniversary Imperial IPA, and wow! Those beer and food pairing geeks don’t lie when they said that hops really intensify  the heat from spicy food. I had a lingering burning sensation at the back of my mouth for maybe ten minutes, after just one bite and one sip.
1 kg ground beef (next time, I’m using diced!)
1 tbsp canola oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, chopped
2 cans (16 oz.), red kidney beans, drained
1 can (16 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
200g tomato sauce
325ml (half a bomber) Rogue Chipotle Ale
First spice dump:
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chili powder (homemade)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 whole green finger chilies
Second spice dump:
5 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Third spice dump:
1 tbsp chili powder (at this point I ran out of my homemade stuff)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Everyday I’m simmerin’.
Super-summarized Steps: 
Toast the cumin if you want, remove. Brown the beef, remove and drain. slow-cook the garlic and onions in the oil. Add back the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and add the first spice dump. Add the next spice dumps in increments of 30-45 minutes. If you have more time, better.  If the liquid starts to reduce too much, add more beer. If you’ve already downed all the beer because you’re too impatient, add water instead, or perhaps beef stock. Remove whole chilis. Adjust seasoning. Serve with cheese on top and some bread or crackers and pair with your most aggressive IPA.
Check earlier in the post to see the original recipes.

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