Stout Chilli

Stout Chilli

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once more and though the Irish appear to have forgotten how to play rugby – they got stuffed by the Italians – this stout chilli is certainly cause for celebration. Indeed, as you may have inferred, ‘stout’ refers not to the build of the dish, though it is rather meaty, but to its contents. Guinness is, of course, the most popular stout and is one that, as popular opinion would have it, the Irish drink almost perpetually from birth. Could there be a more perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal? Probably not.

Stout is a very rich, flavourful tipple, one that has been described, not infrequently, as a ‘roast dinner in a glass’. Eating chilli should be a very intense experience, full of dark flavours – dark chocolate and stout – but with a little complementary fragrance. The stalks of fresh coriander are the ideal way to achieve a slightly lighter aspect to a dish that involves spices like cumin. Furthermore, to avoid waste of coriander stalks store them in the freezer before use – a frugal solution in many ways.

Stout Chilli

Local connection: To be honest, we didn’t use Guinness in this particular dish. Instead, we opted for a slightly more local touch and purchased the rather fantastic ‘milk stout’, a rather flavourful beverage produced by the Bristol Beer Factory. Many delis and independent ale/alcohol shops in Bristol stock this fantastic stout, but if you’re not in the area any locally produced dark ale or stout will suffice (as will Guinness). Should you hail from the Southville area I recommend the aptly named Southville Deli.

For more idea about what you could cook this St. Patrick’s Day, why not give my simple recipe for Porter Cake a go, or if Guinness really does take your fancy, there’s a casserole for that too…

Stout Chilli

Serves 4


• 400g beef mince or steak

• 2 onions, finely diced

• 2 sticks of celery, finely diced

• 1 carrot, finely diced

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground

• 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground

• 1 tbsp chilli flakes

• 2 stalks fresh rosemary

• 20g dark chocolate

• Handful fresh coriander stalks, finely chopped

• 400g tinned tomatoes

• 400g kidney beans

• 500ml stout

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• Salt

• Pepper

• Olive oil


1. Fry off the mince in a frying pan over a very high heat until browned, set aside. Dry toast the spices before grinding and adding to a large pan. Tip in onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chilli and plenty of olive oil – soften.

2. Add the meat, rosemary, tomatoes, stout, chocolate and puree to the vegetables, bring to a simmer and cook for an hour and a half with the lid on.

3. Add the kidney beans and coriander stalks, remove lid and reduce for a further half an hour. Season to taste and serve with rice and pita bread.

Cost: Reasonably good stout can be had for around £1 a can, though that doesn’t apply to local fare. Mince is an incredibly cheap cut of meat as it tends to comprise most of the offcuts and unwanted body parts. As such, this chilli should set you back no more than around £4.50 – happy St. Patrick’s Day!


44 comments on “Stout Chilli

  1. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer
    March 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    This sounds like just the thing for the fickle march weather.
    But I thought the tradital St.Patrick’s Day meal was corned beef and cabbage.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

      That it may be, but I know which I’d rather have 😀

  2. cookinginsens
    March 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm


    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Couldn’t have put it better myself, Rosemary.

  3. Mama's Gotta Bake
    March 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I must give this one a try soon! I do love chili!

  4. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    March 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Beer and chilli! Sounds delicious, Nick! 🙂

  5. angelica | table twenty eight
    March 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve heard of dark chocolate being added to mole but not to chilli. This is definitely something worth exploring – thanks.

  6. Economies of Kale
    March 18, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Yum, this sounds great – I’ll try it out when the weather cools down. After being vegetarian for 14 years, it will be interesting to try chilli with meat – but I think it would work nicely with kangaroo mince 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

      I have no experience of kangaroo, but if it’s local then do it!

  7. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen)
    March 18, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Beautiful. Chili… Drink and cook with beers you like is always my motto…

  8. lillyp
    March 18, 2013 at 7:20 am


  9. Carolyn Chan
    March 18, 2013 at 8:25 am

    How to make a simple dish awesome. I love the idea of using stout in chiili !

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

      You should try it, my favourite ingredient now!

  10. narf77
    March 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Hearty end of winter food and just what the doctor ordered. Coupled with some sour cream and avocado you have all the omni food groups in one bowl there Mr Frugal. Stout would add a particularly dark base note to this chilli and would give it a very unctuous texture as well. I doubt I would manage to get a glass of it once Steve got hold of the bottle but at least he would get the stout and chilli one way or other 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Exactly, Fran! the texture was certainly unctuous! I had to taste some – it was a really nice stout, so much flavour.

  11. For The Love of Food
    March 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    You make your Chili almost exactly like I do, but I love that you add rosemary! Only thing different, I am going to have to try it! I made my first ever vegetarian chili this weekend for a catering job, going to post that recipe later!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

      I love the fragrance it gives – so yummy! Veggie chilli is yummy!

  12. ohlidia
    March 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Looks super yummy! My hubby would love beer in his chill. Actually, he would love beer in anything!!!

  13. spree
    March 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    What a fine job you’ve done on that chili Nick! You’ve single-handedly made a fasting non-meat-eater crave what you’ve got in that bowl! (thanks??) : }

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Thanks, Spree! I think that’s a positive… maybe. Who can we consult?

  14. chef mimi
    March 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This looks absolutely beautiful! And I love beans in chili!

  15. sensitiveflour
    March 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    You know I’ve been meaning to put some chocolate in a chili, but I just keep forgetting to try it. Hopefully this will remind me to give it a go!

  16. thelittleloaf
    March 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Chilli made with stout sounds like a very good idea to me! Sure my fiance would love it too 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Oh he would! It’s now my number 1 chilli ingredient!

  17. Somer
    March 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I freeze my coriander (cilantro here) stalks too. There’s no better way to lighten up a chili! That looks incredibly rich and hearty my friend.

  18. Anastasia
    March 20, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I have no idea about St. Patrick’s Day meals, but this one looks amazing!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:18 am

      It was rather nice, though it isn’t strictly Irish 😀

  19. The Norwegian Girl
    March 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    this looks really good! I´ve been thinking about making chili lately, and this recipe sounds just great!

  20. Kim Bultman
    March 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Popped in to say congrats on your recent interview (well deserved notoriety) when your chili recipe (and photos and writing) caught my eye… and imagination… and tastebuds. You have that effect! Folks in Oklahoma take their chili seriously and your recipe sounds like a ‘contendah!’

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Haha – thanks! I’d like to think this recipe is up there 🙂

  21. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker
    March 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Love the idea of dark chocolate and stout beer in this chili. Thanks for sharing. Lovely post.

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