My Yummy Local Life

{January 30, 2010}   Man Chili

It’s snowing for the first time all winter here in Raleigh.  I thought this recipe would be appropriate to share today, as it is simple, warm and comforting.

This recipe is for all the guys out there who think they can’t cook.  It is so incredibly easy and also yummy and fresh. I am calling it “Man chili” because it contains beer, an entire jar of salsa and corn chips.

Man Chili in the Crock Pot

Man Chili (kinda sorta adapted from Alton Brown)


~2 cups Beans, cooked (or 1 can of beans)

1 lb beef; stewing beef works best, but ground beef will do (from our CSA from Rare Earth Farms)

1 jar salsa, mild, spicy, hot really doesn’t matter (I got a local brand from Earth Fare, made in Winston-Salem, NC)

1 bottle of beer (this time we used Sam Adams Winter Lager)

1 chipotle pepper, whole

1-2 Tbsp chili powder, to taste (we use homemade, made from my daddy’s dried chilis)

1 Tbsp cocoa powder (fair trade, organic from Equal Exchange)

1 Tbsp instant coffee (crap we try to use/get rid of when it doesn’t need to taste like coffee)

1-2 handfuls tortilla chips, organic


  1. Cook the beans if they are dry- about 1 1/2 cups will make 2-3 cups of beans cooked. Basically boil in water until they are tender. About 20 minutes gives them a good head start, they will continue to cook in the chili.
  2. Get crock pot ready to dump ingredients into.
  3. If you are using stew beef, use a food processor to grind it up into slightly smaller chunks. This prevents the need for a knife with your finished chili.  Ground beef will work just as well.
  4. In a hot pan, brown the beef. This will take about 5 minutes.
  5. Put the browned beef, jar of salsa, bottle of beer (the husband usually leaves about an ounce to drink left in the bottle), chipotle, chili powder, cocoa and coffee all into the crock pot.
  6. Add in the beans, and their liquid.  If needed add more water so that everything starts out covered.
  7. Crumble 1-2 large handfuls of corn chips into the chili. This helps to thicken the chili, you can always add more if you want it thicker later.
  8. Set the crock pot for the length of time you want it to cook.  We usually do 4-6 hours on high.  If you prep it in the morning, you can do 8-12 hours on low.
  9. Serve over cornbread, or rice.  This time I made corn bread muffins using corn bread recipe found in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

    Corn bread muffins from Bread Baker's Apprentice (Bacon on top)

  10. If desired, garnish with cheese and sour cream.
  11. Warning: Unless you are nuts, don’t eat the whole chipotle.

So guys, make this for you wife, fiancé, girlfriend, mother, sister… whoever.  It is so easy and will earn you mega brownie points. Even if you never cook, you can use this recipe to jump-start your yummy local life!


Bob says:

If only….
I do a lot of cooking, but get no brownie points. I think forgot how to speak the language of brownies.

Marjie says:

we might make chili for the superbowl

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