Every year my company has a chili cookoff and with so many contestants using recipes that have been honed over a life time, I basically had no chance with the average cookbook recipe. I tried to achieve a rich and luxurious flavor, and started engineering a recipe by carefully choosing flavor pairings. I tried to strike a balance between bitter, sweet and savory. In the end, it can only be described thusly: this is the blue cheese of chili. The flavor is deep and complex, and every corner of your mouth will discover a different sensation.
I like chili to be thick and hearty so I used the full 3 pounds of the chuck roast, but if you generally like it a bit thinner or less beefy then I'd scale back on the beef.
For the beef, basically follow your favorite recipe for a slow-cooked chuck roast, but my personal favorite is included below.
Classically, it seems that chili is good the first night but excellent the next day; the converse was true for me with this recipe. I drilled down to what I considered the perfect balance -- a warming spice, a hearty beefy flavor, that luscious and full mouthfeel -- but the precision seemed to drift after resting and reheating. Don't get me wrong, it was still good the next day, but it did not compare to fresh off the stove top. —Alexander Scribbs
Oil a large frying pan or iron skillet, add salt and black pepper, and heat the pan until the pepper begins to sizzle. Sear all surfaces of the chuck roast.
Turn off the stove. Add the chuck to a slow cooker set on Low. Add the veggies on top along with the packet of onion soup mix. Add 0.5 cups of water. Secure the lid to the slow cooker and let it sit for 5-7 hours.
Reserve the beef for the chili but chow down on the veggies!
In a large dutch oven, heat some oil. When hot, add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the diced tomato, tomato paste, beef broth (I used a small can of beef stock and some broth from the chuck roast), beer (I used a local microbrewery's espresso stout), and coffee. Bring to a boil.
Drain and rinse the beans (I used 2 cans red and 1 can black kidney beans) then add to the pot. Dice then add the Jalapeños (remove the seeds for less spice). Cover and maintain a slow simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the sugar, spice, and everything nice (by that, I mean the chocolate of course).
Cut the chuck roast into half-inch cubes and add to the pot. Mix well and simmer 10 minutes.
Adjust the spices according to your preference. Maintain a low simmer until the kidney beans are tender. Serve with your favorite toppings.