Ice breaker, chili maker – winter ale chili

0ef96-stanley2bpark2bwinter2baleI LOVE winter ales; they combine two of my favorite things, chocolate and dark beer. Now, I have always maintained that Granville Winter Ale is the best, and I don’t deny its deliciousness; however I recently fell madly in love…with another winter ale!

Stanley Park’s Ice Breaker Winter Ale takes the cake for me, the black forest cake that is, it has a very prominent dark chocolate taste with a hint of cherry. I think if you were not as into chocolate, you may disagree, but for me, it’s a pure delight.

As we farewell winter for the season, and with it, winter ales, I wanted to pay tribute to my new-found love and feature it in a simple and slightly non-traditional chili.

Till we meet again Ice Breaker!

Mixed Bean and Beef Chili with Stanley Park Winter Ale

 

Now you may be thinking that this wasn’t the best choice for a chili because of the cherry notes, and if that scares you off, feel free to use another dark and chocolatey ale. But trust me, it worked out deliciously!

Ingredients:
2 tsp olive oil
300g ground beef
1 large onion, diced
10 brown mushrooms, diced
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
2 bell peppers – aka capsicums, diced (I used red and yellow, but it doesn’t really matter)
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 X 540 ml can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 bay leaves
1 bottle Stanley Park Winter Ale
1 X 540 ml can Bean medley

Ice Breaker, Chili Maker
The bean medley I buy has chickpeas, Romano beans, white beans and red kidney beans. I like the variety it brings to the dish and the fact that you get a few more healthy beans in there!

Process:
1) Heat oil at a medium setting in a large saucepan, add beef and onions and cook until meat is browned and onions are slightly translucent.
2) Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 2 minutes then add tomatoes and peppers and cook for one minute further.
3) Add spices and remaining ingredients, making sure to add beer and beans last.
4) Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced.
5) Cover and cook 15 minutes further to bring out the flavors.

Ice Breaker, Chili Maker

I found that while this cooked, it was just enough time to put together some easy cheesy biscuits to accompany the chili. I used an easy recipe from allrecipes.com for garlic cheese biscuits, but didn’t bother with the melted butter and garlic and used mozzarella for a lighter flavor.

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