This beer braised short rib chili recipe is packed with flavor and deceptively easy! With white and black beans, crushed tomatoes, and your favorite stout.
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We try not to overuse words like “game changer” around here.
But this short rib chili? It’s a game changer, folks.
This chili sounds a bit fancy, sure (short ribs! beer! braising!) but trust me when I tell you that it’s actually VERY low-key.
You just need a few minutes of active time to put it all together: a few low-and-slow hours in the oven will do the rest.
The quick version – How to make this short rib chili with beer:
- Season and sear a few short ribs. We used boneless here, but use bone-in if you prefer! This chili is also great with a chuck roast, rump roast, bottom round, or any other braise-friendly beef cut. If you’re avoiding beef, pork shoulder is also good here!
- Sauté some onion and garlic. Then add chili powder, a splash of balsamic vinegar (secret ingredient alert!), and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Add the liquid, return the short ribs, and braise. Stir in your favorite stout or porter (Guinness and Murphy’s are both good and easy to find) and a can of crushed tomatoes. Add another pinch of salt and pepper, nestle short ribs into the sauce, and braise until tender.
- Put it all together. Shred up the braised short ribs, stir in some white and black beans (use kidney beans if you like!) and serve with plenty of sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheese for toppings.
This chili has an incredible depth of flavor compared to quicker stovetop recipes (see: this peach whiskey chili or this turkey black bean chili).
If you’re not a big beer fan and nervous about using a stout or porter here, don’t worry: this recipe doesn’t taste beer-y at all. It’s just rich and buttery – perfect for a chilly weekend!
Serve this chili with our skillet herbed cornbread biscuits, rosemary skillet cornbread, or these simple gruyere biscuits for a complete (and very cozy) winter meal.
This beer braised short rib chili is perfect for chilly weekends!
FOR THE SHORT RIB CHILI:
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups stout or porter (We used Guinness!)
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Fresh cilantro
- Tortilla Strips
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Sliced Green Onions
SEAR THE SHORT RIBS
- Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat canola oil in a large Dutch Oven (we love our Le Creuset) over medium-high heat.
- Generously salt all sides of your short ribs.
- Add short ribs to the hot oil. Sear 3-4 minutes per side until browned.
- Remove browned short ribs to a plate and set aside.
BUILD THE SAUCE & BRAISE
- Return pot to stove over medium-high heat, leaving any oil or fat left from searing your short ribs in the pot.
- Add onion and garlic. Sauté 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add chili powder to onion mixture and stir to combine.
- Add balsamic vinegar to onion mixture and stir to combine.
- Add beer to pot to deglaze the pan. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom and stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Add crushed tomatoes and stir to incorporate. Add another pinch of salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
- Return seared short ribs to pot. Nestle each short rib into the sauce and give them a little room to breathe.
- Cover Dutch oven with the lid and place in a 325 degree oven for 4-5 hours.
SHRED THE SHORT RIBS & ASSEMBLE
- Remove pot from oven. Use tongs or two forks to shred short ribs. (Ribs should be practically falling apart in the braising liquid. If they’re still tough, return to oven for 30 minutes or until short ribs pull apart easily).
- Add white beans and black beans to chili. Stir to combine.
- Taste chili and add salt and pepper as necessary.
- Ladle chili into bowls, top with your favorite toppings, and serve immediately.
Additions and Substitutions. Use beef stock in place of beer if you like. Use kidney beans or garbanzo beans/chick peas in place of or in addition to the white and black beans if you like. Add a few cups of sliced mushrooms when you sauté the onion and garlic to make it a bit heartier. Stir in roasted diced sweet potato or butternut squash when you add the beans to stretch the chili farther if you like. Swap the short ribs for chuck roast, bottom round, or any other braising-friendly beef cut. Use pork shoulder in place of beef if you prefer.
Chili powders vary in intensity: For best results, taste the tomato sauce just before you return your short ribs to the pot and braise. If you’d like more heat, add additional chili powder (we like this one!) a teaspoon at a time, tasting and adjusting until you like it. Keep in mind the flavor will intensify as it braises.
Which beer should I use? We love a good stout or porter here. Guinness and Murphy’s stouts are both good and easy to find, or use a local/craft brew stout or porter you like! Just stay away from any flavored beers like a vanilla porter or chocolate stout. You can use a pilsner or IPA here if you prefer, but we find you do get the best flavor from a stout or porter (and we promise the chili doesn’t taste too beer-y if you aren’t typically a stout fan!)
Adjusting the consistency. If your chili is too thick, add a splash of beef stock or water to thin it out. Too thin? Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until it’s reached your desired consistency.
Equipment. We always braise in a sturdy cast iron dutch oven, preferably with a ceramic coating for easy cleanup. We love braising in a 5.5-quart Le Creuset, but are also fans of Lodge and Marquette Castings for more budget-friendly options!
Can I make this chili in an Instant Pot? Yes! We tested this chili recipe with boneless short ribs in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Sear the short ribs and build the sauce using the sauté function, then pressure cook for 40-55 minutes on high pressure. Let pressure release naturally, then shred short ribs, add beans, and serve.
Can I make this in a slow cooker or crock pot? Yes! Sear short ribs and sauté onions and garlic as directed, then add to slow cooker with all remaining ingredients except beans. Cook 6-8 hours on low heat, then shred short ribs, stir in beans, and serve.
To store leftover chili: Let chili cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat for best results.
What to serve with this chili: Easy Skillet Cornbread Biscuits or Skillet Rosemary Cornbread, or quick biscuits like our Gruyere Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits!
Keywords: chili, stew, winter