No matter where you live, you’ll probably agree that this winter has been pretty miserable. If, like us, your seasonal coping mechanisms involve hearty food and ample booze, this beer beef chili is for you.

Fast and flavorful, this is our go-to chili recipe. In addition to the warming spices and beef, it’s full of good-for-you foods, like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and two kinds of beans. And of course, it’s made with beer. This time, we used a Gordon Biersch Maibock, but really any kind of beer (save for the crazy flavored stuff) will do. We also make our own chili seasoning because it’s super easy and better than anything we can buy in the store.

You can make this chili on the stovetop in a large Dutch oven like we did, or in a slow cooker. If it’s the latter, just add everything at the same time, mix well, and set it on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

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For the chili seasoning:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ tablespoon kosher (or smoked) salt
2 teaspoons freshly-cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

To make the chili seasoning, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, and set aside.

For the chili:
1 pound lean beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and stemmed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
chili seasoning (see above)
1 cup beer (plus a little more for deglazing)
1 cup beef stock
2 28-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Sour cream, for garnish
Radish, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Sliced jalapenos, for garnish

Warm a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the beef with about a tablespoon of the chili seasoning until the meat has turned from red to brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot. Add the onion, yellow pepper, and garlic to the pot and saute for about three minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent. If it’s too dry, pour a little beer in to deglaze the bottom of the pot.

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Add the sweet potatoes and remaining chili seasoning, mix well, and cook for five more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the beer, beef stock, tomatoes (with their juices), and beans. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour.

Garnish each serving with sour cream, cilantro, radish and jalapenos. Enjoy with a beer (or three). After all, you need to stay warm.

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