Further inspired by chilly weather and cold rain (which, by the way, is far worse than snow, in case you were not sure), I got into another chili recipe tonight. I had a new beer to go with it (Wow! I'm trying a new beer! No way!).
The chili, which I prepared last night actually, was far better than the stuff I had a few days ago. Plus, you have a ton of it when you are done. With bread and butter or nacho chips for dipping, you can easily get 4 meals out of it. Plus, in the grand tradition of good chili, it is better the second day!
3 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
8 large cloves of garlic
2 lbs ground chuck
1 envelope taco seasoning(!)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
15 oz tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
6oz tomato paste
2 15oz cans kidney beans (drained)
Brown the onions and garlic. Add the meat and brown. Add taco stuff and dry spices; cook 2 minutes. Add sauce broth, and paste. Simmer for about 90 minutes. Add beans (from the can, Lora!) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Done. Easy. Easy. Easy. Good. Good. Good.
The only thing that can make a great chili better is washing it down with a good beer. The Railbender Ale is the second beer from my 6-pack sampler of Erie Brewing Company beers. I admit, with a train on the bottle (very cool!), I was worried the Railbender Ale (#511) was going to be a trainwreck like the drool they called Presque Ile Pilsner.
I was solidly mistaken.
The color was a medium brown or amber (it struck me as being a darker apple cider, actually). The tan head was easily two fingers high and dissapated to about 1/4 inch in a few minuters (totally gone shortly thereafter). It was here that I noticed the particulate, too; little flecks like cinnamon. After a brisk swirl, I could immediately smell the sweetness with malty undertones. On the palate, the malt/caramel combo was perfect. The finish was smooth and sweet, giving way to a dry, slightly hoppy finish.
Unfortunately, I can't give this beer a solid 5 out of 5. The massive head was an early indication of what was to come. The beer was clearly over-carbonated and ultimately botched the balance of the beer. Perhaps you have accidentally taken a slug of Coke that is too big? You can feel it burning your tongue and the linings of your cheeks? Well, it was similar to that. Once the beer had a few minutes to breath, the carbonation smoothed out a bit but it was still noticeable.
One this is clear: if they tone down the carbonination this beer is a solid winner in my opinion. For now, a 4 out of 5.
Good chili and good beer. What more could you want?