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Slow-Cooker Beef Chili with Beer and Lime Sour Cream

Hugh Andrew Purcell

Servings: 8 to 10

Top this stick-to-your-ribs chili with tortilla chips, shredded Cheddar, and sliced green onions, or spoon it over tortilla chips for nachos. Feel free to use more jalapeño for spiciness. The lime sour cream is also delicious with fried plantains, eggs, and baked sweet potatoes.




For the chili

  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 2 Tbs. whole milk
  • 2-1⁄3 lbs. ground beef (no leaner than 85%)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1⁄2 tsp. chili powder
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2-1⁄2 cups finely chopped white onions
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced jalapeño
  • 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mild beer, such as Corona
  • 1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 4-oz. can fire-roasted, chopped green chiles (mild)
  • 3 Tbs. fresh-squeezed, strained lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

For the lime sour cream

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Zest of 2 limes

For serving

  • 1⁄4 tsp. minced jalapeño (optional)
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Tortilla chips


Make the chili

  • In a large bowl, mash together the bread and milk to form a paste. Add the meat, 1 tsp. each of salt and chili powder, and the pepper. Knead well to mix.
  • Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic, and jalapeño and sauté until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the meat-bread mixture and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook until no flour is visible, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the beer. Return the pan to the heat and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juices, stock, green chiles, lime juice, adobo sauce, remaining 1 tsp. salt, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp. chili powder. Use a potato masher to gently mash the tomatoes. Boil, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add to the slow cooker along with the beans. Mix well, cover, and cook on low until the flavors are well melded, about 6 hours.

Make the lime sour cream

  • Mix the sour cream and lime zest well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To serve

  • Using a large spoon or ladle, skim the fat off the surface of the chili. Ladle chili into serving bowls and top with the lime sour cream and jalapeños at the table. Pass bowls of plain sour cream, Cheddar, and tortilla chips at the table.year-round slow cooker book


To adapt a slow-cooker recipe to a conventional oven, follow these guidelines: add more liquid, to accommodate for greater evaporation; bring the dish to a boil over high heat in a Dutch oven, then cover the pot and put in a 350°F oven. Plan on the dish taking roughly half the time to cook in the oven as it would in the slow cooker.


Rate or Review


  • ShannonJoe1 | 02/08/2015

    Very bland. I threw in some cumin and ancho chile and helped a little. I'll do the lime in the sour cream trick for other chilis

  • stephdmarsh | 10/04/2014

    I must first say that I am not a great fan of most chilis. I strongly dislike the packaged chili seasoning mixes. I do however, LOVE this chili. The seasoning is just right and the texture of the meat/bread mixture is perfect. I have made this several times now and often add more of something, less of another and/or make substitutions and it's great every time.

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