Chili Con Nikki (with brisket, coffee & chocolate)

February  2, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Nikki is our "Kitchy Kiwi Garden Cook from New Zealand", but is living in the US. She bravely signed up for her daughter's school's chili competition with her first ever attempt at chili. She didn't come home with first prize, but was happy to share leftovers friends the next night (who loved it). Chili is always better the next day. This recipe is based on Nigella's "Cornbread Topped Chili, with a few tips and tricks from Jamie Oliver's thrown in. It has some interesting ingredients - brisket, coffee & chocolate! —The Communal Pantry

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 cup good coffee
  • good pour of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 2 red onions, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 fresh chiles (small green ones are good)
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 gloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2-3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 can beans (kidney, butter or pinto) drained
  • sour cream
  • chopped parsley or coriander
  1. Make coffee. Put oil in large casserole pot (with lid) and gently heat on low. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander seed and onions. Fry for 10 minutes, until the onions soften. Seed and chop your fresh chiles and add to onions and spices.
  2. Add the meat and stir well to coat with onion and spices, and then add cinnamon sticks, garlic, salt and pepper, coffee, tomatoes, brown sugar and chocolate. Cover casserole dish with lid and simmer for about 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After a few hours break up the meat and pull it apart using a fork. Add the chopped peppers and beans. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off until the meat is completely falling apart and delicious. If mixture gets too dry, add a little beef stock. If too runny, leave it to cook a bit longer until the liquid reduces.
  4. Ideally leave in fridge overnight, bring back to room temperature and heat through before serving. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with rice, corn chips, corn bread and sour cream. Beer and Tequila optional!
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1 Review

drbabs February 12, 2012
I tested this recipe for editors' pick, and I chose it because I loved everything in it, and I totally love chili--I went to school in Texas and attended many a chili cook off. It has great possibility, but the spices and herbs need to be at least doubled--more cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano. More salt and pepper. I used only one cinnamon stick and I took it out after about 2 hours because the chili was starting to taste like just cinnamon. (It did add nice warm notes. ) My jalapeños weren't very hot, so I could have added more, but the chili is overly sweet. It needs less sweetness--unsweetened chocolate instead of dark chocolate, less brown sugar. I ended up putting in only one yellow pepper towards the end because it didn't need more sweetness. I also crushed some garlic and minced some, and I recommend mincing it. I cut the brisket into one-inch pieces as described, but there was no shredding it after that--which was OK with me--I liked the texture of chunky meat in the chili. The chili also seemed to need a bitter note to round out the flavor. I have some left over, and I will add a dark beer to it in addition to more spices and heat. The basics are all here--it's a really interesting way to make chili. The proportions just need to be altered a bit and you have a great meal.