Tommy D Eats

Best Damn Pale Ale Chili

Recipe by
4 hours
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 4 Hours | Servings: 6


I recently recreated my dad’s famous chili recipe, adding my own twist to it with a secret ingredient: pale ale beer. Growing up, my dad’s chili was always a family favorite. It was hearty, full of flavor, and had just the right amount of heat. I wanted to keep the essence of his recipe intact, but also add my own unique touch to make it my own. I started by using the same base ingredients that my dad used: ground beef, beans, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of chili spices. However, I decided to use pale ale beer to give it an extra depth of flavor. The subtle hoppy notes of the beer worked perfectly with the spices and gave the chili a unique twist that set it apart from the original. After simmering everything together for a few hours, I gave it a taste and was blown away by the rich, complex flavors. It was everything I remembered from my dad’s recipe, but with a delicious twist that made it feel like my own creation. I can’t wait to share this recipe with my family and friends and see what they think of my take on my dad’s classic chili.


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Bacon Fat.
  • 1 large yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno diced, seeded for less spicy
  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef 80/20
  • 1 Tsp of Salt, plus more to taste
  • 5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth or water
  • 1 – 28 Oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 (12 ounce) beer (lager, Pale Ale or mild IPA)
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Pinch of sugar


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and jalapenos, stirring occasionally until soften, about 5 mins.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stirring frequently until spices are fragrant, about 1 min.
  5. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until just browned, about 8 mins.
  6. Add tomato paste until coated and warmed, about 1 min.
  7. Stir in beer and stir well. Bring to a simmer; adjust heat to medium-low. Simmer 30 mins.
  8. Add 2 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for up to 3 hours.
  9. Add Kidney beans and continue to simmer for 1 hour.


  • Add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomato paste.
  • Like it spicy, leave in the jalapeno seeds and/or add 1 habanero pepper.
  • The longer you cook the chili the more the flavors meld and come together.

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