Variations on Alton Brown’s Pressure cooker chili

Alton Brown's Chili with some variationsHere is a subtle variation on Alton Brown’s classic which we cook up once every couple of months – it freezes well and makes a super hot hot lunch entree! Recipe easily doubles for a larger group!

Primary variation – Use a stock or stewing pot – Pressure cooker not needed.

1 pounds Sirloin tip or lesser grade of beef (or pork… or Tofu)
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 bottle of beer, medium pale ale
1 (16-ounce) container hot salsa
30 tortilla chips (really! 30… not 29 or 31!)
1/2 cup chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers in adobo)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 medium onions – chopped
1 Yellow pepper chopped
1 Red pepper chopped
1 small Zucchini
1 large Pablano pepper chopped
2 Anaheim peppers chopped

1 chopped Habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers (be VERY, VERY careful with these peppers! There is a real risk of burning or blistering if your skin comes in direct contact with the seeds or chopped pepper flesh.)

OPTION A: 2 medium carrots shredded (adds sweetness!)
OPTION B: Add 1 or 2 tinned drained high quality chick peas and reduce or eliminate the red meat.

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and toss with the Canola oil and salt. Set aside.

Heat a 4-quart steel pot over high heat until hot. Add the meat in 3 or 4 batches and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl.

Once all of the meat is browned, add the beer to the pot to deglaze the pot.
Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Put in onions, yellow and red peppers, zucchini and carrots (or option of chick peas) to brown for around 5 to 7 minutes.

Add Pablano and Anaheim chopped peppers – cooking an additional 5 minutes

Add the meat back to the pot along with the salsa, tortilla chips, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, and ground cumin and stir to combine. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve immediately with cold beer and more corn chips on the side.

Depending upon how hot your salsa and chilis are will dictate how much of a sweat you will work up – add sour cream to serving for the more delicate among you!

Link to original Alton Brown recipe.

updated August 2014

Colin Newell is a Victoria resident and roaming food and drink freelance journalist – has been writing online since 1994