Beer Chili & Cornbread

A Family Recipe from Spencer Nix

This quick, adaptable, and hearty family recipe shared courtesy of our CEO & cofounder, is a crowd pleaser you’ll make more than once. One part nostalgic and three parts whatever mood you’re in that day, chili and cornbread are some of our favorite fall and winter eats.

MawMaw’s Chili Recipe

First, some history

“The base recipe for this chili is my grandmother’s, Ethel Lewis, and was born out of feeding four kids on a budget in the 1960s in a small town known as Woodstock, GA. The base ingredients reflect that period of time and I feel connected to those roots every time I prepare it for my family and friends over 50 years later. Here is the base recipe and then I’ll share a few additions I make.”

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 medium Vidalia onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
12 oz of beer 
16oz of tomato sauce
¼ cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of hot sauce

Directions

I use a cast iron dutch oven from start to finish. Brown the ground beef (I lightly strain the drippings to make it less greasy and for better mouthfeel). Add all other ingredients and cook on simmer for 3 hours. Add beans 30 minutes before serving. 

Spencer Style… I will often substitute a ½ pound of chorizo or sausage. Venison is also a perfectly legit beef substitute but will require some extra fat for flavor. The beer choice is always an important decision for me. Depending on the mood, the beer choice will vary. Early Fall, I go for Reformation Brewery’s 95, a Munich lager. Late Fall, Reformation Brewery’s STARK, a toasted porter. When snow is on the ground, Reformation Brewery’s DECLARATION, an imperial stout.

Important note, drinking the beer while preparing the chili and while eating the chili is required for the full pairing experience. I also use an immersion blender after all ingredients minus the beans are in the dutch oven. I like a relatively smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel with my chili so I blend and sample until I’m happy with it. If I’m making the chili for chili slaw dogs, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, I skip the beans entirely. Also never underestimate the power of a good hot sauce, I’m currently a big fan of The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce, and I always add extra to my bowl with pickled jalapeno peppers, a dollop of sour cream and a side of my grandfather’s homemade cornbread.

Yep, she made the chili, he made the cornbread. Marital goals are also part of this recipe.

MawMaw’s Chili Recipe

First, some history

“The base recipe for this chili is my grandmother’s, Ethel Lewis, and was born out of feeding four kids on a budget in the 1960s in a small town known as Woodstock, GA. The base ingredients reflect that period of time and I feel connected to those roots every time I prepare it for my family and friends over 50 years later. Here is the base recipe and then I’ll share a few additions I make.”

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ pounds ground beef (80/20)
1 medium Vidalia onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
12 oz of beer 
16oz of tomato sauce
¼ cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of hot sauce

Directions

“I use a cast iron dutch oven from start to finish. Brown the ground beef (I lightly strain the drippings to make it less greasy and for better mouthfeel). Add all other ingredients and cook on simmer for 3 hours. Add beans 30 minutes before serving. Spencer Style… I will often substitute a ½ pound of chorizo or sausage. Venison is also a perfectly legit beef substitute but will require some extra fat for flavor. The beer choice is always an important decision for me.

Depending on the mood, the beer choice will vary. Early Fall, I go for Reformation Brewery’s 95, a Munich lager. Late Fall, Reformation Brewery’s STARK, a toasted porter. When snow is on the ground, Reformation Brewery’s DECLARATION, an imperial stout. Important note, drinking the beer while preparing the chili and while eating the chili is required for the full pairing experience. I also use an immersion blender after all ingredients minus the beans are in the dutch oven.

I like a relatively smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel with my chili so I blend and sample until I’m happy with it. If I’m making the chili for chili slaw dogs, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind, I skip the beans entirely. Also never underestimate the power of a good hot sauce, I’m currently a big fan of The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce, and I always add extra to my bowl with pickled jalapeno peppers, a dollop of sour cream and a side of my grandfather’s homemade cornbread.

Yep, she made the chili, he made the cornbread. Marital goals are also part of this recipe.”

Savory Skillet Cornbread

Stick to your bones good, this recipe is the foundation for much love and experimentation. Serve warm with softened butter, or amp it up with additions of your favorite sharp cheddar, pepper jack, or pickled jalapenos.

Papoo’s Cornbread

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon canola oil
Optional:

*1 cup of cheese (sharp cheddar or pepper jack)
*½ cup chopped jalapenos 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Place the canola oil in a medium cast iron skillet and put in the oven while it heats.

In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Once the oven (and the pan) have heated up, pour the batter carefully into the skillet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and set in the middle.

Papoo’s Cornbread

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon canola oil
Optional:

*1 cup of cheese (sharp cheddar or pepper jack)
*½ cup chopped jalapenos 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400℉. Place the canola oil in a medium cast iron skillet and put in the oven while it heats.

In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Once the oven (and the pan) have heated up, pour the batter carefully into the skillet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and set in the middle.