The idea came from a couple of guys talking today about making a slow cooked chilli earlier today, this wasn’t slow cooked but I think it would work really well cooked slow as an alternative.
After much discussion about which beer would add something to the dish several beers were suggested. These including Saltaire Triple Chocolate Stout, Leffe Brune, Ginger Tom, and Hardknott Dark Energy amongst others. I decided on the Chimay as it was easily accessible not just for me but anyone wanting to try it. Also the fact that I was trying to keep away from the chocolate-chilli connection. Oh and the name worked…
500g of lean steak mince
1 Sweet pointed red pepper chopped
1 coarsely chopped onion
250g button mushrooms (whole or cut in half dependant in size)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bottle of Chimay Blue
1 teapoon of chili powder
Half a teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tin of chopped tomaoes
1 tin of mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
1-2 pieces of high cacao dark chocolate (to your taste).
1. In a large saucepan or wok brown the mince draining off the fat, there should be none if the mince was lean.
3. Add the chopped pepper, mushrooms, chilli powder, smoked paprika, coriander, chopped tomatoes and mixed beans. Stir well.
5. Taste the sauce to see how it has mellowed to see if the beer you have chosen has added enough background sweetness. Then add the chocolate to your personal taste, one block at a time tasting all the way. Stir into the chilli and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Serve with fluffy white rice and maybe a little soured cream.
So did the experiment work? Well yes it was lovely. In terms of the Chimay addition though I have to concede that I’m not sure it was the right choice. The chilli and smoked paprika overpowered the beer slightly, so as options maybe opt for unsmoked paprika instead and double up on the Chimay. Especially if you are slow cooking to give you a little extra liquid to reduce to a nice sweet sticky sauce.
Alternatively maybe make it with a good strong Imperial Stout.
For a beer to serve, I think I’d go right back to the beginning and opt for a Saltaire Triple Chocolate Stout. lots of chocolate taste to go with the chilli without the chocolate sweetness some chocolate beers have.
Hope you give it a go, if so let me know what you think?
Big thanks to these folks for their input today: