Uses for leftover smoked beef brisket – Smoked Beef Brisket Chili (recipe and wine pairing)

by on October 4, 2013

It happened again.  My hubby smoked another brisket for just the four of us, yielding enough leftovers for our entire neighborhood.   But this time, instead of sharing, we froze the leftovers to be used another day.  Incidentally brisket freezes quite well without losing much of its flavor. Score!

Last Sunday we decided to cook up one of our favorite chili recipes, but instead of ground turkey (the meat I usually use) we subbed the leftover smoked brisket, and added some additional ingredients to compliment the smoky flavors of the meat (like bacon and chipotle).   We let the chili slowly cook for a couple hours making our house smell like heaven on a typical rainy fall Portland afternoon.

Smoked Beef Brisket Chili

The best part was that this pot of chili graced us with even more leftovers for the next few days.  The leftover from the leftovers that keep on giving. Yessssss.

And really, who doesn’t enjoy a good bowl of chili on a rainy day?!

Leftover Smoked Brisket

Uses for leftover Smoked Beef Brisket, recipe #4 – Smoked Beef Brisket Chili

Smoked Beef Brisket Chili
  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion (about 2 cups), chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 ½ cups leftover smoked beef brisket, cut up into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon dry chipotle seasoning (or the equivalent in canned chipotle in adobo sauce, adjust amount to your heat preference. A little goes a long way)
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle beer
  • ¼ cup coffee (cold leftover coffee from your morning pot)
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ can corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 small (4 oz) can diced green chili
  1. In a large saucepot over medium heat, sauté bacon until crispy. Add onions and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add bell pepper and garlic; cook 1 additional minute to soften. Add the meat and all dry seasonings. Add beer and allow it to deglaze the pan and cook off the alcohol (about 1-2 minutes). Then add coffee, tomatoes, beans, corn, and green chili. Bring to a low simmer, cover, and cook for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer it cooks the more integrated and concentrated the flavors get. My recommendation is at least an hour for a nice rich chili. If the stew starts to get too thick, you can add water ½ cup at a time to thin it out.
Optional toppings:
  1. Sour cream (or my preference Greek Yogurt)
  2. Shredded cheddar cheese
  3. Chopped cilantro

Wine Recommendation 

Brisket Chili and Casa Lapostolle 2011 Cuvée Alexandre Carmenère

Casa Lapostolle 2011 Cuvée Alexandre Carmenère, Apalta Vineyard

Colchagua Valley, Chile
14.1% abv  |  $15 avg price (media sample)

I chose this wine because Carmenère can often exude some green pepper notes, which can be off-putting to some. But paired with the right food they can be tamed, thus bringing out some of the other rich and attractive aromas.  Plus, we put green chilies in the recipe, which would have balanced out any found in the wine.

Turns out the wine had very little green notes.  Instead it was full of lush dark berry fruit, baking spice, herbs, and some spicy oak aromas.  The wine itself is smooth and velvety, full of more fruit and spice in the mouth.  It’s rich enough, yet balanced out by the berry fruit, and spicy enough for the slew of rich flavors found in the chili.

Overall the wine is spicy, fruity, rich, and velvety — all matching those components in the meal, which made for a winning pairing.

Definitely a nice wine and a great pairing for a chilly (get it) fall evening.

More uses for leftover brisket


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Travis Grizzell January 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

This chili is awesome. Still trying to find the wine here, but I will. Thanks!


Mary January 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Thanks Travis! If you can’t find this specific Carmenère, ask your local wine shop what other Carmenère’s they have from Chile. Otherwise, try a Malbec. Zinfandel works well too. Just look for a nice spicy rich red wine.


scott January 8, 2015 at 8:55 am

Thanks for the great chili idea. It was great for last nights 10 degree temps here in middle Ga. I may try this the next time with burnt ends. I only used 1/2 the spices to cut down the heat and used fresh tomatoes.


Mary January 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

So glad you enjoyed it, and I hope it helped to keep you warm over there. Brrr! Thanks for the feedback. And I agree, fresh tomatoes are always a great call (when you have them on hand that is!). Cheers, Mary


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