One Recipe, Two Meals: Southwest-Style Chili

The chili starts off the same for everyone: browned seasoned beef, a dose of veggies, black beans, tomatoes and a little bit of tomato sauce. At this point the kids' version is ready! To up the ante for the adults, I added a bit of beer, beef stock, more chili powder, a minced jalapeno and brown sugar to round it out.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (2 kids, 2 adults)
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1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon ground cumin

3 teaspoons chili powder

Salt and pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium white onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

One 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup stout beer, such as Guinness

1 cup beef stock

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Lime juice, optional

Garnishes: shredded Cheddar, sour cream, sliced jalapeno, sour cream, torn cilantro sprigs

Serving suggestion: cornbread


  1. Let's make the kids' version first. In a large pot, brown the ground beef all over, until no longer pink. If you need to drain the fat, go right ahead! Add the cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Saute for a minute or so. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Saute until the veggies soften and the garlic is fragrant, another couple of minutes. 
  2. Add the beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes. Taste it. The kids will dig that, right? 
  3. Ladle out about a cup for each of your littles. Top each bowl with shredded Cheddar and serve cornbread on the side! 
  4. Now let's finish this out for the adults. To the pot, add the beer, beef stock, jalapeno, brown sugar and the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder. It will feel pretty soupy at this point, but let it simmer for another 20 minutes or so, stirring once in a while. Taste it one more time for any seasoning adjustments. Maybe a little salt? Lime juice? Go for it. 
  5. Serve it with shredded cheese, sliced jalapeno, sour cream and torn cilantro sprigs. Boom.
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