Chimay Chilli

Another experimental beer related recipe, this time a chilli dish made with a lovely Belgian Trappist Ale Chimay Blue.

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.

2. Add the garlic and onion, cook until softened.

3. Add the chopped pepper, mushrooms, chilli powder, smoked paprika, coriander, chopped tomatoes and mixed beans. Stir well.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for at least an hour, longer if possible. (Alternatively place the whole mix in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours)

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:


5 thoughts on “Chimay Chilli

  1. sounds delicious!! ive not tried it with chimay before, i’ve used a few different beers, the ones with coffee in work quite well too.

  2. theres a shameless recipe on my blog somewhere, although it just uses kidney beans, i preffer mixed mexican beans but her indoors doesnt like them for some reason….i think that might be something to do with her having them once during a long drinking session at a certain brewery in yorkshire and seeing them again during the night outside of our tent…

  3. Do you know… I’m not sure I’m convinced by beer in cooking. I like the idea more than the execution, usually, and it does often feel like a waste of good beer. Building up to a Belgian carbonnade, though, and I’m told that *has* to use beer.

  4. Thanks Andy I’ll take a look, I must confess my Mrs gave me a look when she saw the mixed beans too, she’s not keen but I think it adds variety. Although it sounds like yours has a more viable reason to avoid them lol.

    Bailey, I do know what you mean, sometimes the beer just gets lost in the dish, but in others I think it is outstanding. I had a dish in Belgium which was something along the lines of rabbit, with prunes cooked in a dark Flemish ale, it really was fantastic. If only I could remember the exact details I’d try and find a base recipe to recreate it here.

    On the other hand about the wasting beer, it is a wrench to put a quality beer into something I agree. But for me when I cook I think you get out what you put in. Cheap substitutes will always reap what they sow in my humble opinion.

    Cheers for commenting guys

I'd love to hear what you think, please don't forget to comment, thanks

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s