Sunday, March 20, 2011

It only took... 15 years?

I made chili for the first time 15 years ago.  It tasted good, but it wasn't thick.  And since then I've tried a couple of times a year to make really good chili.  My secret ingredient is cocoa.  Apparently chocolate and chilis are awesome together, and I think it really adds something.  Not enough to taste chocolatey, but a little richness.  So taste - good, texture - eh.  Well, somewhere in the ballpark of 50 chilis later, I think I got it.  I substitued a can of tomato paste for one of my cans of tomatoes.  I know, right?  Less liquid?  Makes sense?  Maybe I'm slow on the uptake...

Maybe everyone else under the sun knew this, but I didn't, so here's what I did.  In case it's like they said in school and if I have a question someone else probably does too..

Thick Chocolate Chili

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 bell peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 T chili powder
1 T unsweeted cocoa
2 t oregano
1 t cumin
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 cayenne (or to taste)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 14 oz cans kidney beans

In a large pot, brown the meat and break it up.  Drain the fat from the meat.  Add the peppers, onions and garlic and cook until softened or 5 minutes.  Add the spices and stir, cooking for about 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.  Allow to cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the diced tomatoes and the beans with the liquid in the cans.  Simmer for at least 2 hours before serving.

I haven't tried this in the crockpot yet.  Bob (husband) thinks that nothing thickens properly in the crockpot, but I'm trying it anyway ;)

It's hard to see, but it's kind of heaped instead of soupy.  That's what I've been trying for!  (I used 1 can kidney beans and 1 can pinto beans, that's why there are light colors in there)

Let me know if you try it and what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That looks delicious! Cocoa, huh? Who'da thunk? I'm going to try it...