Guinness Chili

Recently my mom and her four sisters visited Atlanta for their annual “Sisters’ Weekend” trip. I was lucky to be able to visit them for a number of reasons, the most important being that their first night in town they went a little crazy at the liquor store. It was only after purchasing three large bottles of wine, a six-pack of Guinness, a bottle of Bailey’s, and some Southern Comfort for my Aunt Sue (because–according to her–she doesn’t like the “hard stuff”) that they realized they didn’t have enough time to drink it all. Thus, I was the happy recipient of the leftover Guinness; the perfect addition to this spicy chili.


Then again, what isn’t Guinness the perfect addition to?

Adapted from the 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking



Guinness Chili

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours

Total Time: Approximately 4 hours

Beware of over-salting, if there is too much salt the leftovers will be much saltier than the original dish.
Leftovers will be of a thicker consistency.


1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds ground round
2 large onions, chopped
5-10 garlic cloves, chopped
2 12-oz. bottles Guinness (or other dark beer)
1 16-oz. can pinto beans, juice included
1 16-oz. can kidney beans, juice included
1 16-oz. can great northern beans, juice included
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
6 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Cook the diced bacon over medium-high heat until the cracklings are golden but not burnt. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels.
Sauté the ground round, chopped onions, and garlic cloves in the bacon grease until the onions are translucent and the meat is mostly browned.
De-glaze the pan with one of the bottles of Guinness until the foam disappears. Place all in a large stockpot (plus the bacon.)
Stir in the cans of beans, tomato sauce, and the other bottle of Guinness (you may also substitute 1 1/2 cups of water, if desired.)
Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours over low heat. Adjust seasoning before serving.

Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, or other desired toppings.

Adapted from the 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking