Fall and winter calls for comfort food that will not only keep you warm but also make you feel really good - to help battle the winter blues! And we all know that kind of food has got to be Chili! I have already made a chicken version last year so I thought it's about time I make a beef one. I have seen some recipes that use unsweetened Cocoa powder to add more flavor to their Chilis and I thought it was a wonderful idea. So here's my version of a Chocolate Chili that uses cocoa powder to add more flavor to your regular Chili recipe.
To make it even better, I add real chocolate bar - the dark kind (at least 70% chocolate) at the end of cooking to give that delicious finish to this dish. And don't worry, it won't make it sweet but will just enhance the flavor! And to add more complexity (and deliciousness, too!!!) in the taste, I replaced 1 teaspoon ground Cumin with 1 teaspoon Cinnamon. So, in each bite you will taste a very subtle hint of cinnamon along with the chocolate. But if you're like my hubby who don't like Cinnamon at all, feel free to omit it and stick with full Cumin instead. Either way, it's fantastic.
Because this is a large batch, I presume you'll have left-overs but don't fret 'cause as you will soon find out, this Chili gets even better the next day as the flavors have developed more overnight. Don't forget to serve this with some sour cream and your favorite shredded cheese and some chopped cilantro on the side! Please enjoy!
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 lbs / 1 Kilo Ground Beef
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground Pepper, to taste
2 medium Onions, chopped/diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 large Green Bell Pepper, diced
3 Celery stalks, sliced to about 1/2-inch thickness
1 Tablespoon, unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon, Chili powder2 teaspoons, ground Cumin*
1 teaspoon, ground Cinnamon
2 (15 oz) canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz) canned Tomatoes with Green Chillies
2 1/2 cups Beef Broth (or more, if needed)
1 (up to 2) oz 70 % Dark Chocolate bar (1-2 squares)
*You can omit Cinnamon and just add an extra teaspoon of Cumin, if that is preferred.
In a Dutch oven in medium heat, brown the beef in oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add the onions, garlic, peppers and celery and cook until the vegetables have softened 6-8 minutes.
Lower the heat then stir in the spices (chili powder, cumin and cinnamon) and the cocoa powder. Cook on low for about 3-4 minutes.
For the slow cooker, cook on low for about 4-6 hours. At the end of cooking, add the chocolate bar and let it melt. Stir. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Garnish with sour cream, cheese and chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
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