Beer-Braised Chili with Honey Butter Cornbread
Makes 8 servings
For the chili:
- 2 pounds ground beef (80/20 blend)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 3-4 chipotle peppers, diced with adobo sauce (from 1 can chilies in adobo)
- 1/3 -1/2 cup ground chili powder (adjust to your taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3 ½ tablespoons Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)
- 2 – 12 ounce bottles of your favorite pumpkin ale (Elysian)
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 fresh tomato or 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
For the cornbread:
- 2½ cups coarse-grind cornmeal
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten well
- 1⅔ cups Smith Brothers buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Smith Brothers unsalted butter
For the honey butter:
- ½ cup Smith Brothers unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoon honey
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Place a 7-quart Dutch oven or stockpot with the ground beef in it over medium heat. Cook, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the beef as it cooks, for 10 minutes or until the beef is browned.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the onion, celery and carrots to the pot. Stir occasionally until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until it is aromatic. Add the serrano and chipotle peppers (with adobo sauce) and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, and stir, cooking for about 2 minutes until aromatic.
- Carefully pour in the beer, pausing if it foams up a lot. Once all the beer is added use the spoon or spatula to scrape any browned bits (fond) off the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the beer has started to reduce. Stir in the pumpkin puree and crushed tomatoes and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Make the cornbread: Preheat the oven to 400°F with a 10 inch cast iron skillet in it.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the cornmeal, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg and buttermilk. Stir until just combined.
- Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Add the butter and swirl it around until it is completely melted and coats the bottom of the pan. Pour in the batter and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- To make the honey butter: Vigorously beat together the butter, honey, and salt in a bowl until smooth and combined.
- Top the cornbread with 2 or 3 generous tablespoons of honey butter once it comes out of the oven.
- To finish the chili: Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, more honey, and spices as needed. Garnish as desired with sour cream, cheese, and scallions and serve with cornbread (for dipping).