Award winning, easy to prepare, chili recipe by singer-songwriter Trent Willman. 

Recipe by Trent Willmon, from The Beer Man Cook Book

Photograph by Jennifer Denison


When it comes to chili, I’m always trying something new,” writes singer-songwriter Trent Willmon in The Beer Man Cook Book. “It’s more of a creative process, like writing a song, and making it up as I go along. Sometimes it works; sometimes, uh, not so well.”

Using flavors from his native Texas, Willmon has found the perfect combination of ingredients for this award-winning chili recipe. Smoked brisket is the main fixing. Traditional Texas chili is usually served sans beans, but Willmon’s recipe can be adapted to include beans.

The Beer Man Cook Book features more than 150 hearty, country-style recipes served up by Willmon’s family and friends.  As the book’s title suggests, many of the recipes feature beer as an ingredient. All the recipes are easy to prepare, and strike a special chord with men.

Smoked Brisket Chili

3 pounds smoked brisket, chopped
2 ground chipolte peppers
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bottles Shiner Bock beer
²⁄³ cup brown sugar
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 can black beans (optional)

1 can Ranch Style Beans (optional)

1 teaspoon black
course-ground pepper
2 tablespoons comino
½ teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon oregano
Olive oil

Combine all ingredients, except onion, garlic, spices and one beer, and simmer in a large Dutch oven for two hours.

In a separate pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add spices, then mix with chili. Simmer 30 minutes, adding remaining beer as needed for thickness. Hint: The brown sugar will decrease the heat from the peppers, so add more if the chili is too spicy. Add more peppers if chili isn’t hot enough.

Do you have a traditional Western or Southwestern recipe you’d like to share? E-mail [email protected]


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