This week is the week of Halloween, otherwise known as the national salute to candy so…. I think I have chocolate on the brain. I’m obviously trying to find another place to work in some chocolate, I’ll blame it on the super healthy antioxidents….and that I just love chocolate! Whatever the reason happily it added a whole new flavor dimension and a silkiness to this recipe.
I’m a firm believer that chocolate and chile peppers are a fantastic pairing, I make some “Hot Chocolate” cookies every Christmas that are killer, those are for another post. This is chili like meat and beans and spices, the perfect food for this time of year, either to get through a chilly day, or give your trick or treat or party day some protein to back it up! It like most chilies is great on day one, but doesn’t really come into its own until it’s a leftover. I love food like that.
By the way, besides the chocolate this chili has beef and beans. Lots of them, because I’m from Oklahoma and that’s how we like it. Also because I seem to buy a lot of beans thinking that I must not have any at home, but I do, so I end up with tons and tons of beans somehow! I know there are some that say real chili doesn’t have beans, in my opinion that’s not real chili, that’s Texas chili! Its like BBQ, there are a million ways to make chili and everyone thinks theirs is the best.
I will say this, in college in Oklahoma we ate WAY more chili than I see anywhere else. Chili, chili dogs, frito chili pie, something called a 3-way that is spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, and onions (I will never understand that… isn’t that 4 things???) Just chili on everything. Its something my husband doesn’t quite understand, he’s not a huge fan of chili, unless of course my dad, or Larry the BBQ Dude makes it, then it’s his favorite thing ever. We’ll see how he feels about a little chocolate chili, or if he’ll even know it’s there.
If you don’t have unsweetened chocolate just use dark chocolate or even chips, but leave out the brown sugar. I took inspiration for this recipe from one of my favorite authors, check him out!
Chili with Chocolate
- 3 teaspoons salt, I had some Habanero smoked salt from my favorite olive oil store so I used 1 tsp of that but all regular salt is fine
- 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds lean beef stew meat, such as boneless short ribs or round, or chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes, I use grass-fed beef which is leaner, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and very flavorful
- 3 fresh chiles seeded and diced, I used the mild ones from my garden, but feel free to use what you have or hatch canned chiles
- 3 red bell peppers seeded and diced
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 1/2 cups cooked or canned beans of choice, if you use canned drain and rinse. I used a mixture of black beans, chickpeas, and cannelini beans because that’s what I had in the house!
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 12 oz beer (feel free to use beef or chicken broth instead)
- 30 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice
Mix together salt and spices (first 5 ingredients) and toss beef cubes with the spices. Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add oil and sear spiced beef until a brown crust forms on the outside (5-7 minutes) but not cooked through. Remove the beef to a plate and add peppers and onions to the pot. Saute vegetables until softened. Add the garlic cloves whole. Add the beef and any juices or accumulated spices back to the pot. Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, beer, chipotle pepper(s), tomatoes, brown sugar, and chocolate to the pot. Simmer over low for 45 minutes or until beef is tender. Add the vinegar or lime juice when you serve the chili. I never thing green onions, or a little sprinkle of cheese is a bad thing either!
Need another warm and comfy dinner idea? Check this one out!