Prepare the beans:
In a medium bowl, soak the beans in enough water to cover by at least 2 inches, and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the beans and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water by about 1 inch. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Add 1 tsp. salt and continue to simmer until tender, about 30 minutes more. Drain and set aside.
Make the chili
Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale gold, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, chile powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, beer, and tomato paste.
Add the brisket and its juices, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the meat is meltingly tender and the sauce is flavorful, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar, if the chili needs some acidity for balance.
Serve the beans on the side, or stir them into the chili and simmer for about 15 minutes before serving.
The garnishes are half the fun. Serve with warm corn tortillas, sour cream, sliced avocado, salsa, and minced onion and cilantro. If you’re not from Texas, you may want to serve rice with the chili.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips