Beer Spilled into my Paleo Chili

Chili is one of those foods that I love with and without beans, red or white.  I can’t help but check the soup section of the menu anytime we go out to eat.  I will most likely order it, perhaps without the cheese.  I love spices, I love soup, I love meat, so chili is just the perfect entree or side dish for me.  After visiting my relatives in San Antonio, Texas over Thanksgiving, I even returned with a cookbook entirely based on chili.  That inspired me to try a recipe that my Mom had sent me months early from Mark’s Daily Apple (author of “The Primal Blueprint Cookbook”) called “Primal Texas Chili.”  Texas chilis are historically without beans, so this recipe easily fits into paleo cooking.  I had the best intentions… but my recipe strayed slightly from paleo (even without the addition of legumes).

In the original recipe, it is shown being cooked in a cast iron pot.  I have an enamel-covered cast iron pot that is plenty big, but for whatever reason, I wanted to make this in the slow cooker.  After browning the beef, I started sauteing the onions and garlic in a nonstick pan before adding them to the slow cooker.  My dilemma arose when I noticed that there was a lot of “flavor” left on the bottom of the pan.  That is when I decided that the perfect way to deglaze a pan and add superb depth to a chili… was to add a little beer.  No regrets.  I even used a Miller Lite (because that is all we had) and it still added just a touch of flavor that was divine.  I can also rest easy that all of the flavor of the beef onion and garlic did not go to waste.  It ended up only needing about half the beer to deglaze, so feel free to do what you want with the rest.  🙂

I also reduced the water that was suggested in the original recipe (not just because I added about 8 oz of beer).  The flavor is richer, and I prefer a chili that isn’t too thin.  The result?  Tender, delicious chili, with just a touch of heat.

It is shown here with Cauliflower Rice.


  • 3 pounds chuck meat, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs bacon fat or coconut oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 6 oz can of organic tomato paste
  • 3 tbs chii powder
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


  • 1. Heat oil or bacon fat in large nonstick pan, cast iron, or dutch oven
  • 2. Brown meat on all sides, set aside in large bowl
  • 3. Add onions and garlic, stirring until softened
  • 4. Add beer to loosen flavor from the bottom of the pan
  • 5. If using a slow cooker, transfer meat and sauteed veggies to slow cooker
  • 6. Add 2 cups of water, tomato paste, stir until well-mixed
  • 7. Add spices
  • 8. If using slow cooker, set on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours
  • 9. If using cast iron or dutch oven, cap pot, and simmer for 2 hours, or until meat is tender
  • 10. Enjoy!