Southwestern Beef & Lager Chili

This meltingly tender chili features tomatoes, kidney beans, lots of vegetables — and beer, of course.

  • Difficulty 4
  • Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 3 - 4 hours
  • Serves 6 - 8
This hearty big-batch recipe is full of flavour and feeds a crowd. It takes a little effort but is worth it — just let the chili simmer while you’re watching the game.


  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided (approx)
  • 1.8 kg boneless beef chuck roast, excess fat trimmed, cut in 1½- to 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) salt (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper (approx)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1 large onion (about 250 g), diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 227 g cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) + 1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) lager
  • 1 cup (250 mL) beef broth
  • 1 796 mL can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 540 mL can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream, hot sauce, finely chopped red onion, finely chopped tomato, lime wedges (optional)


  1. 1. Heat 1½ tbsp (22.5 mL) oil in a very large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste, then sear in 4 or 5 batches. For each batch, cook beef in a single layer until well-browned and crusty on bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear on opposite side. Transfer seared beef to a large bowl. Add more olive oil between batches as necessary to prevent sticking.
  2. 2. Pour water into pot and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom, until steaming. Pour over beef in bowl.
  3. 3. Heat remaining 1½ tbsp (22.5 mL) olive oil in same pot and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, translucent and slightly golden at edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno and chipotle chilies and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add red pepper, green pepper, zucchini and mushrooms, stirring to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) salt and ¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper in a small bowl. Add to softened vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. 5. Add lager, broth, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, kidney beans and reserved beef to pot. Stir to combine.
  6. 6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to keep from catching and burning on bottom, until beef is very tender and most of the vegetables have melded into the chili, 3 to 4 hours. Serve with cilantro, and sour cream, hot sauce, red onion, tomato and lime wedges (if using).


  1. 1. If there are burned, rather than browned, bits in the bottom of the pot after searing all the meat, skip the water in Step 2. Simply give the pot a quick clean and continue on without scraping up the bits on the bottom. Browned bits are great for adding flavour to your chili, but blackened spices and meat will give it a burned flavour.

Find a Beer Store Location