Mexican Chocolate Chili

By • January 27, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Growing up in Kentucky, chili and cornbread made regular appearances on our family table, and the smell of chili simmering on the stove still reminds me of home. This nourishing chili, spiked with roasted poblanos, beer and cocoa powder, can be easily adapted for vegetarians by leaving out the beef. It has enough flavor to stand on its own. Savory, slightly spicy and filled with good-for-you antioxidants, it's a big hug in a bowl. Enjoy a bowl with your favorite toppings, preferably with people you love. NourishRDs

Serves 8 - 10

Make the beans

  • 8 ounces dried black beans
  • 8 ounces dried white kidney beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, split in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt

Make the Chili

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle dark beer of choice (not IPA or other bitter beer)
  • 3 cups reserved cooked beans
  • 28 ounces can whole tomatoes, pureed or crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water, or more as needed
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut or torn into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Begin by making the beans. Rinse beans. Place beans in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2 hours. Drain the beans, return to the pot with the bay leaves, jalapeño and salt. Cover with cold water by 2 inches and simmer for about 2 hours, or until beans are tender. If not using right away, refrigerate for up to 5 days. Extra beans can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  2. Next, roast the poblano peppers. Preheat broiler to high. Place poblano peppers on baking sheet and place under broiler about 5 minutes, turning once, until charred but not burnt. Place peppers in a plastic Ziploc bag and allow to cool. Once cooled, peel and seed the peppers. Coarsely chop and reserve. You can also roast poblanos on a grill pan, if you have one.
  3. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add extra virgin olive oil. Add ground beef, salt, red pepper flakes, cumin powder, cumin seeds, ancho and chipotle chili powders, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until beef is browned.
  4. Lower heat to medium. Add onion, red pepper and garlic and cook until onions are translucent,a bout 6 – 8 minutes. Add beer, stir, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Stir in beans, poblano peppers, tomatoes, molasses, cocoa powder, water and tortilla strips.
  5. Let simmer for at least an hour, until chili is thickened and tortilla strips are completely absorbed into the chili. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
  6. Right before serving, stir in cilantro and garnish each bowl with condiments of choice. Some ideas include: Shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of choice) Sliced green onions Plain Greek yogurt Chopped cilantro Diced Avocado Lime wedges Enjoy, preferably with someone you love.

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