Chipotle Chili

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See the chili con carne entry for more on the history of chili. This is a variation on the theme which includes sweet peppers, chipotles, leftover grilled hamburgers, and beer. Most of the ingredients specify very approximate quantities, as this chili works well even with wide variations. Feel free to omit from or add to the ingredient list as your pantry allows.

With the suggested amounts of seasoning, you will get a moderately spicy chili. Cut the chili powder in half for a milder stew. The chipotles in adobo add a bit of heat (but not as much as raw jalepeños would).


  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3-10 (to taste) garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 leftover hamburger patties, grilled, chilled
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 small sweet chiles
  • small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 12oz bottle hoppy beer (recipe developed with Lagunitas IPA)
  • large can of chopped tomatoes
  • small can of tomato paste
  • can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • table side additions such as sour cream, shredded cheese, Fritos, Cheese-its, etc.


Sauté Onions and Garlic

  1. Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil.
  2. Swirl the oil in the pan to coat, and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  3. Sauté the onions and garlic while you grind the meat and make chile paste, below.

Grind the Meat

  1. Using a food processor, grind the leftover hamburger patties into a coarse powder.
  2. In a bowl, mix the ground hamburgers with the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Set aside.

Make Chile Paste

  1. (Don't bother cleaning the food processor after grinding the meat.) Add the sweet chiles one by one and grind until they're reduced to small bits.
  2. Add the chipotles along with the adobo sauce, grinding until the chipotles are thoroughly integrated into the sauce. You can leave this in the food processor or move it to a bowl.

Turn It Into Chili

  1. By now the onions should be pretty well cooked down. Turn the heat up to medium and stir continuously.
  2. The onions may start to brown and stick to the bottom of the stockpot. Add half the beer to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add the ground meat and spices, tomato products, beans, chile paste, and remainder of the beer, stirring after each addition to combine.
  4. When the pot comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover.
  5. Simmer for at least half an hour.
  6. Serve in bowls, either plain or with accompaniments suggested above.