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

by on October 4, 2013

Another delicious use for leftover smoked brisket — Smoked Beef Brisket Chili!

Smoked Beef Brisket Chili

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

4.6 from 5 reviews
Smoked Beef Brisket Chili
A great use for leftover smoked beef brisket. Use it as a base for this 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), used a standard 15 oz can
  • ½ can kidney beans (drained and rinsed), used a standard 15 oz can
  • ½ can corn (drained and rinsed), used a standard 15 oz can
  • 1 small (4 oz) can diced green chili
  1. In a large pot 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
Note on the spicy seasonings: I've received some feedback that this can turn out a bit spicy! Not all dry spices are created equal. The fresher the dry spices the more potent they tend to be. So if your dry chili or chipotle seasonings are rather fresh or new, then they will be more potent. My tablespoon of dry seasoning may be different than your tablespoon of the same spice.
So if you're sensitive to spice go easy on the spicy spices at first. You can always add more later! I find that chipotle and cayenne tend to add the most heat. So go easy on them and add slowly.

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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{ 17 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


Debbie February 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

This is WAY too spicy!! I cut down chili pepper to two T and it was still too hot. I made it for dinner tonight and I’m not sure that we’ll be able to eat it unfortunately.


Mary February 4, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Debbie, I’m so sorry it came out too spicy for you! My initial thought is if you used the chipotle seasoning? That, to me, is the really spicy culprit. Chili powder doesn’t tend to be that “hot/spicy” as it is intense in flavor. Or, if you perhaps used cayenne? Cayenne and chipotle are the spiciest (to me).

Also, unfortunately not all dry spices are created equal. The fresher the dry spices the more potent they tend to be. So if your dry chili or chipotle seasonings are rather fresh or new, then they will be more potent. My tablespoon of dry seasoning may be different than your tablespoon of the same spice (does this make sense?).

To attempt to salvage your dinner you can try a couple things. You can add more tomatoes. This could be in the form of canned tomatoes or canned tomato sauce. This will sweeten up the dish a bit, offsetting the heat.

Also, when you serve it you can add lots of shredded cheese and sour cream (I personally like plain Greek yogurt over sour cream). The dairy will also help tame the heat.

I hope this helps!!


A Rock February 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm

This recipe looks absolutely delicious. Could you tell me how much chili this makes ? We have a lot of mouths to feed.


Mary February 26, 2015 at 12:47 pm

I haven’t accurately measured it, but promise to do so next go-round. But I know it at least feeds 6! I usually make it for 4 people, and always have a TON of leftovers. So, for now I’m going to say 6, but I’ll update as soon as I make it again. I hope that helps.


Brenda February 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Thanks for such a great receipe! I’ve made it twice now, and we’ve loved it both times! My husband loves to smoke brisket, and this is the perfect way to use some of those leftovers. His rub has quite a bit of chili powder in it, so I cut the amount I add to the chili by half. It’s a winner! Thanks for sharing.


Mary February 26, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Brenda, I’m SO happy to hear this!! I’ve heard of a few people who have cut the chili powder in half. Good to know! We have quite a few more ideas for leftover brisket if you find yourself with more leftovers. It sounds like your husband is like mine, and cooks it a lot 😉
Cheers, Mary


Mary October 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Thanks so much! I know how you feel. My husband smoked ANOTHER brisket just today. But I have big plans for those leftovers this coming week (helloooooo more CHILI!!). :)
Cheers, Mary


Elena February 26, 2015 at 1:29 pm

What size of can should I use for black and kidney beans? You mentioned 1/2 can, but didn’t say how big of the can :-(


Mary March 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Hi Elena, Ahh my apologies! I was referring to a standard 15 oz can. I’ll be sure to update it on the recipe for clarification! I hope you were able to still make the chili. Cheers, Mary


Kathy September 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

This Chili was wonderful, I loved the smokiness of it with the brisket. I had smoked a brisket on Sunday and was looking for an idea for a meal re-creation and this was perfect. I had thrown some Jalapeno Peppers and some Hatch Chiles on the smoker too, so I chopped up a couple of those peppers and threw into the chili while it cooked, was a great addition! I used all of the spice ingredients and didn’t find it too spicy at all. (But, we are spice lovers in this house, and it’s hard to find anything too hot for my hubby)
I did mess up and use whole cans of each of the beans, but it still came out great and just added to the thickness and rich texture of the finished dish. I will definitely be adding this to my list of favorite chili recipes.


Pauline September 29, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Mary, This is the best chili we’ve ever had. I had some extra and gave some to my boss and raved so much we had to smoke another brisket to give him a refill. Now he has the link to your site so he can try it on his own – he’s game. Perfect balances – I left out the black beans (I used white instead (cannellini) and green chiles (used Italian style fresh peppers instead. Everything else as directed. WOWOWOW!


Mary September 30, 2015 at 11:01 am

You just made my day with this comment!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much! We plan to make it this weekend. Cool fall weather = brisket chili :)
Cheers, Mary


Chelby October 1, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I made this chili last year for the first time! I could not WAIT to make it again this year. It might be the real reason I made a brisket 😉 LOVE IT! I like it spicy too!


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