Borracho Black Bean Chili

An outstanding vegetarian chili recipe, I discovered this in Robb Walsh's outstanding The Chili Cookbook, which is an absolute must-have for chili lovers. The bottle of Negra Modelo beer makes it "borracho", or drunk. Walsh suggests eating this with tacos or a steak, however I suggest pouring it over tortilla chips nachos-style. Don't forget the sour cream, avocado and shredded cheese!
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 baseball sized onion, chopped
  • 2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 small green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, chopped with seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Negra Modelo (or other dark beer)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  1. Soak the beans overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid, pour into a soup pot, and cover with 6 cups fresh water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, red and green peppers, jalapeño, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin and black pepper. Stir well, then slowly pour in the beer. Add the tomato paste, and stir well until the tomato paste totally dissolves.
  4. Continue cooking over low heat, uncovered and stirring occasionally until the liquid level reduces down to expose a layer of beans, 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust for seasoning as desired, then serve.

Kitchen tools you'll need for Borracho Black Bean Chili:
Chili Bowls, Dutch Ovens, Stock Pots

Notes: For vegetarian cooking, I recommend increasing the level of heat in your spices. If you typically buy "mild" seasonings, this is the time to punch things up! Vegetarian cooking often tastes bland. Try medium or hot chili powder, and don't scoop out the seeds from the jalapeño.

Variation: You will find the recipe turned into a black bean soup by adding a quart of vegetable stock, cabbage and cilantro.

Ready in: 2 Hrs 35 Min

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell