From the Beer Wench's Kitchen
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Vortex Firehouse Chili and Brown Ale

By K. Allen


Article Originally Published in Southern Brew News




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Vortex Firehouse Chili and Brown Ale

    Many of you have heard of The Vortex Bar and Grill.  For those of you have not, it is an edgy, fun eatery with a great beer selection and this issue’s subject for The Beer Wench. They boast two locations situated in Midtown and Little Five Points. The Midtown location opened in 1992; followed by the Little 5 Points location in 1996. A twenty foot laughing skull erected at the entrance makes the Moreland Avenue location extremely difficult to miss.

    The menu entertains as much as the atmosphere. You can find a list of what not to do while at The Vortex and shows a lack of tolerance for the idiots running amok in our society. This totally irreverent attitude coupled with award winning food, makes this establishment worthy of a visit. The Vortex has recently updated its beer selection to include offerings from Allagash, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Brooklyn, Magic Hat and several other craft brew choices. They also offer a choice selection of liquor.

    The Vortex prides itself on its food and uses beer in some of its offerings. This revelation brings me to the latest recipe that your Beer Wench has been allowed to pass on to her hungry readers. The Firehouse Chili is a beef chili, but I am sure that the chef will not mind me saying that substitutions could be made with turkey or a meat substitute. In the past, the chili has been made with Newcastle Brown Ale and is currently being made with Brooklyn Brown, but you can use your favorite brown ale. This is a one gallon recipe scaled down from an eight gallon recipe.


The Recipe

1 white onion (medium)
medium size bunch of cilantro
1 lb ground beef (or frozen beef patties)
16 oz brown ale
1 cans crushed tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 1/2 oz package chili seasoning
1 1/2 oz chili powder
1 1/2 oz black pepper
1 1/2 oz Italian seasoning
oz coriander
oz cumin
Chipotle peppers (to taste) (1/2 -1 7oz package)

Directions: Remove stems from cilantro. Coarse chop leaves. Peal onions. Dice into “ cubes.  Place chipotle peppers in food processor and puree until fine.  Be sure no large chunks are left.  Open and drain crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and black beans.  Do not rinse.  Combine meat and onions in stockpot and simmer on medium heat.  Mix constantly. Sautee until beef is brown and onions are tender.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Cook over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.  Hold at this temperature for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.

     Serve with your favorite brew and relax.  Sound good to you. If you are too busy or hungry to make this yourself, head on down to one of The Vortex locations.  They will set you up with your very own bowl. Now I must tell you that The Vortex is an 18 and over establishment; so you can’t bring the kiddies. It is a great place for a boys or girls night out or even date night. If you want to know more about The Vortex, check out thevortexbarandgrill.com. If you want me to feature a recipe from your favorite place in the Southeast just email me at BeerWench@classiccitybrew.com and remember to eat well and drink good beer!



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