Beer and barbecue sauce add zip to this cold weather pleaser
Using up leftover BBQ Beef Brisket generally isn’t a problem. Still, a brisket yields a lot more meat than most of us can eat at one meal.
You could make a sandwich (or two) the next day, of course. But how about trying something different? When the weather is cold (as it currently is throughout most of the US), nothing warms you up better than a bowl of chili. So why not use your leftover barbecue brisket to make chili—complete with sauce. It’s like barbecue in a bowl.
And speaking of bowls, if you haven’t already planned the menu for your Super Bowl festivities, this would be a great dish to serve. You can easily prepare it ahead of time and then reheat it on game day.
Plus, it’s a dish that will be new to many of your guests. And since both teams in this year’s Super Bowl have been there before, it’s nice to see at least something new, right?
Recipe: BBQ Beef Brisket Chili
This dish marries the smoky tang of barbecue with the spice of chili. It’s delicious when made with your own leftover Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket, but you can use any barbecue beef brisket in this dish. So if you don’t have leftovers on hand, maybe a visit to your favorite barbecue joint is in order.
We also like to use about half a batch of our Green Chile Chili Beans in this dish—they add a lot of zip. But you can substitute canned pinto beans instead if you wish. Kidney beans work too (they’re often found in chili recipes). But for this particular dish, we think pinto beans work better.
Prep time for this dish is 15 to 20 minutes. Cooking time adds another 45 minutes, maybe a bit more. The dish improves in flavor if you make it a day or two ahead. Just refrigerate the chili in an airtight container, then reheat it when you’re ready to serve.
This recipe serves a crowd. Leftovers freeze well.
- ~2 pounds cooked BBQ beef brisket (preferably homemade)
- ~2 cups diced onion (2 or 3 medium onions; exact quantity not critical)
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves
- 2 to 3 jalapeño peppers, diced fine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ~½ teaspoon Kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
- a dozen or so grinds of black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mild or medium chile powder, or a mix of mild/medium (to taste; see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons dried chipotle chile powder (optional, but tasty)
- 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (we prefer our homemade Tangy BBQ Sauce, but your favorite commercial sauce will work just fine)
- 12 to 16 ounces beer (preferably a hearty ale; may substitute beef broth—see Notes)
- ~half a batch of leftover Green Chile Chili Beans, or 2 to 3 cans pinto beans (may substitute kidney beans)
- water or beef broth if needed (see Step 7)
- brown sugar to taste (about ½ cup; optional—see Notes)
- garnish of your choice (optional; see Notes for suggestions)
- Cut the beef brisket into dice of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
- Peel the onions and cut into dice of ½ inch (or a bit smaller). Set aside.
- Peel the garlic and mince finely or cut into thin slices. Set aside.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers (if using), cut off their stems, then cut each pepper lengthwise. Using a teaspoon or soup spoon, scoop out the seeds (the oil from the seeds will be hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Mince the jalapeño peppers finely or whirl them in a mini food processor (reserving a slice or two of pepper for garnish, if you wish). Place the minced peppers in a bowl until you’re ready to use them, then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
- In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot (6 quarts is a good size), heat the olive oil on a medium stovetop. When hot (the oil will shimmer), add the diced onions. Season with salt and pepper, then sauté until the onions are translucent, but not yet brown (5 to 8 minutes).
- Once the onions are translucent, add the minced garlic and jalapeño peppers, then sauté for a minute or two.
- Add the diced brisket, chile powder(s), cumin, coriander, and oregano. Stir to incorporate, then add the diced tomatoes, barbecue sauce, beer, and beans. Stir, then add a bit of water (or beef broth) if needed to get the chili to the consistency you want. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Once the chili comes to a simmer, set a timer for 15 minutes. When timer goes off, taste the chili and add more seasonings if necessary. We suggest adding brown sugar at this point—we think the sweetness adds depth of flavor to the chili. But taste first, and decide whether you want to use it.
- Continue to simmer the chili for another 30 minutes (or a bit longer if you wish). After the simmering is complete, you can serve the chili or refrigerate it for later. When ready to serve, see Notes for garnishing suggestions.
- A refresher on terminology: A “chile” (with an e) is a pepper; the plural is chilies. When you dry chile peppers and grind them up, you produce chile powder. Chile powder contains nothing but chilies. By contrast, chili (with an i) powder is a mixture of herbs and spices that includes chile powder as one of its ingredients. You can use either chile or chili powder to flavor the dish called “chili.” Totally clear, eh?
- If you’re using chile powder for this recipe, we suggest using one that’s mild to medium in terms of heat level. Ancho chile powder is fairly mild, has good flavor, and these days can be found in most grocery stores. Dried Hatch chile powder has wonderful flavor and is worth seeking out. Chipotle chile powder is fairly spicy—we suggest adding a bit because its flavor is wonderful.
- You can also substitute chili powder for chile powder(s) in this recipe. As noted above, however, chili powder contains seasonings in addition to dried powdered chilies. If you go this route, use 3 (or more) tablespoons of chili powder. Reduce the cumin, coriander, and oregano by about half, or eliminate them altogether (since these flavors generally are incorporated into chili powder). The taste of the finished dish won’t be as crisp if you use chili powder, but you’ll still be pleased with it.
- We think this dish works better with a fairly spicy barbecue sauce (like our Tangy Barbecue Sauce). But use whatever sauce you like. And feel free to tinker with the quantity—a bit more works nicely in this dish.
- Which beer to use? We prefer something with a bit of character, such as a sturdy ale. A stout or porter might add too much heft, while a light-bodied lager might add too little. But the choice here is yours.
- If you don’t want to use beer, substitute beef broth (or water, although the flavor of the dish will be a bit thin in that case). Or use a combo of beef broth and more barbecue sauce.
- We think adding some brown sugar (Step 8) bumps up the flavor of this chili. Don’t use too much, though—you want just a hint of sweetness.
- Kosher salt is more coarse than regular table salt, so it’s less salty by volume. If you’re substituting table salt for Kosher, always use less—about half as much. If the dish isn’t salty enough, you can always add more later.
- There are many garnishes for chili that not only look great, but add a flavor boost. A slice or two of jalapeño pepper, a handful of oyster crackers, some grated cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of diced raw onion, or a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt all work well.
Great Balls of Fire
“Mmm, delicious,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I really liked the Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket we did last week on the blog. It was great served with a side of the Green Chile Chili Beans we did the week before. But put the two together in chili—and add barbecue sauce? That’s a whole new ball game.”
“Yup,” I agreed. “We make barbecue and chili all the time. Don’t know why it took me so long to get the ball rolling and combine them. They’re magic together.”
“Speaking of magic—and balls,” said Mrs K R. “What’s the deal with Deflategate? Does New England have magic footballs that automatically adjust their air pressure according to atmospheric conditions?”
“That whole thing is a balls-up,” I sighed, shaking my head.
“So what does the crystal ball say about the big game on Sunday?” asked Mrs K R.
“Well, the Patriots have been in the Super Bowl a lot. And the Seahawks won it last year,” I said. “So some people were kind of bored with the prospect of seeing the same olds in the game. Maybe this controversy will add some interest.”
“The referees will definitely need to be on the ball,” said Mrs K R. “I expect they’ll be keeping a close eye on Tom Brady’s balls. Wait—that didn’t come out right!”
Mrs K R sure knows how to get herself behind the eight ball.
You may also enjoy reading about:
BBQ Beef Brisket
Green Chile Chili Beans
Tangy BBQ Sauce
Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans
Pulled Pork and Green Chile Chili
Chunky Pork and Sweet Potato Chili
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs
Or check out the index for more recipes