Kitchen Through the Lens: Chipotle Stout Beer Braised Tacos

I think this was the moment where I first felt truly like a success in the kitchen – this dish. This dish made me feel like, Whoa Sarah, you are not just a baker. YOU. CAN. COOK.

It’s silly actually because all I did was follow the directions, and the recipe wasn’t that complicated, but it tastes complicated – and impressive. I made these tacos for someone who is an amazing cook, and when he enjoyed them, I was so pleased with myself. Ridiculously pleased with myself.

Maybe a little bit too much so.


When I was originally looking to make a list of things to cook, I got to item 40 or so on my list and got stumped. Joe from The Hungry Dudes suggested this recipe to me, the Chipotle Stout Beer Braised Beef Tacos. Immediately, I was intrigued.

And since Grand Rapids, Michigan is BEER CITY USA 2013, I surely had enough craft beers at my disposal to use for this recipe.


Originally, I thought I’d use Founders Breakfast Stout.

Only… I waited too long and KBS was bye-bye.


The recipe had suggested a stout with coffee notes… and well, that would have been pretty darn perfect.

I’m fairly beer dumb. I don’t really know a stout from a porter from an IPA. So, I enlisted some of my favorite people – who happen to be VERY beer savvy to recommend a few options.

Ended up with The Poet Oatmeal Stout from New Holland Brewing Company.


Have you cooked with chipotles in adobo sauce before? Yuuuum.

Granted, you only use TWO large peppers from this can, and so… I guess I better come up with other recipes to use ’em, rather than waste the leftovers.

ew, raw meat. tri tip.

Raw meat. That’s… not pretty.

This recipe calls for a tri tip roast — a cut of meat I have never seen in a grocery store. Now granted, I’ve only started looking in the past few months, but when I decided I was really serious about making this recipe and making it soon, I started researching where I could buy a roast in Grand Rapids. Lucked out and found a local store on the first try — while I was there I also picked up some flank steak which I used for The Princess’s birthday dinner yesterday and DANG – amazing. I can’t say I’ll buy ALL my meat there, but for those times it really counts, I surely will. It’s leaner and waaaaaay easier to cook (and eat. I get grossed out with fatty pieces of meat. YUCK).

braised beef

So, you’ve got all the ingredients and you sear that (expensive but lovely) tri tip and then you add beer and beef broth, like up there. While you’re doing that, you’ll want to chop up your onion. Your garlic (the recipe called for six cloves, so… I used nine).

chipotles in adobo

Cut those chipotles in adobo.

Yeah. Those look gross too.

meat is unattractive

Then? Basically, your work with these tacos is DONE. Simmer for about three hours, flipping your roast over each thirty minutes. After the first hour, my house smelled like I’d been cooking with red wine, though I had used stout.

A beery-er person than I could probably tell you why, but all I know is WOW. For the hours this simmered in the cast iron enamel pot on my stove, my house smelled heavenly.

pico de gallo

And then I threw together the pico. I was supposed to have red onion but I bought a white one by mistake. No matter. It was still good. Also? You can double this recipe. You should. Because you’ll probably wish you had more pico. It’s crazy easy. Except the chopping cilantro part. Chopping cilantro is a pain in the ass.

Yeah. I said it.

I need kitchen scissors, I think. Herb cutting scissors.

268 | 365

This was a total WIN all around.

I cannot think of anything I’d do differently (well, except have more flour tortillas on hand – even when I steam them, I can’t get corn tortillas to cooperate and not fall apart).

Well, scratch that. I’d have gotten it together enough to make margaritas or sangria with these tacos. NOTE: Most sangrias require overnight refrigeration. There will be no spontaneous making of sangria for you. Or anyone. Sheesh, sangria. Why so high maintenance?

Anyway – yeah, you’ll want a nice cold festive beverage to knock the edge off the heat of the tacos. Plan ahead for it. You won’t be sorry.

Make these. Make these. Make these.

(They were good, can’t you tell?)

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. Totally bookmarking this post to make as soon as this crazy cleanse is over and I can indulge in things like alcohol and tortillas again. Thanks for posting it! I cannot wait to try it. Well, I have to or my naturopath will not be happy. But geez, this has me super excited to get cooking the second the cleanse is over. And I can totally taste a margarita in my future with it.

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