The weather outside is never frightful when it comes to youth hockey season in the Midwest, especially when one of our teams has a two-week lull in their game schedule. And luckily for these guys (and their little sisters), their parents are as passionate about hockey and having fun as they are. So the First Annual Lake Campbell Winter Classic was established this January. And don’t be surprised if, after these kids are off to college, you’ll find us parents keeping the icy tradition alive. (Yes Ann, I just invited us to your house every January for the rest of our lives.)
What does hockey have to do with chili? (Because I know you aren’t asking yourself what this has to do with beer.) Ann, our hostess, shared a scrumptious pot of chili at the party and even though I had to eat and run my daughter to hockey in Watertown, I kept thinking about how good it was to have a steamy bowl of chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and crunchy chips. So when I made a batch of Once a Month Beer Chili Spaghetti the next week, I eyed that meat mixture with beans and corn chips on my mind.
Sure, I could have made my old staple, Make-it-your-way Rainy Day Chili but there’s just something about this addicting meat sauce.
Recipe for beer chili spaghetti and/or beer chili meat mixture (makes approximately 4 cups):
2 pounds ground sirloin or lean ground beef
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt
1¾ teaspoons paprika
1¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon onion powder
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
¼ cup chili powder
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce beer
If you are making a meal of beer chili spaghetti and a few meals of beer chili, make 12 ounces of spaghetti noodles and add some of the hot pasta water to the meat mixture and then use some of the leftover meat sauce to make chili. If you are making this meat sauce to make all chili, you’ll need to at least double the beans and tomato juice below. You only need to add pasta water to the portion you are using for spaghetti.
To make the chili (very imprecise directions):
Take a cup or two of the beer chili meat mixture and add:
1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans red beans (drained)
1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans in chili sauce
Chili powder to taste
Cumin to taste
Tomato juice – I used part of a 46-ounce bottle. It depends on how much meat sauce you are using and how thick or juicy you like your chili.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Heat together the meat mixture, beans, and tomato juice. Add the additional chili powder and cumin if desired. When hot, serve with sour cream, corn chips, and shredded cheese. Store leftover chili in airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you are more in the mood for BBQs, make BeerBQ Joes and put corn chips on top.
Icy & spicy wishes,