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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chocolate and Black Bean Chili


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Ethnic cooking presents some challenges for smaller families. Most recipes appear to be scaled to feed armies rather than the two or three people who typically break bread at the table. Chili, a food, I love, is one of them. Several years ago I came across a recipe for Chocolate Chili Con Carne developed by Michael Chiarello for the Food Network. It sounded delicious, but it made way to much food for two of us eat and still enjoy. I've altered the recipe to make fewer servings and changed the spicing slightly. This is a nice chili, but there are certain elements of the recipe that shouldn't be changed. Masa harina, Mexican corn flour, is used to thicken the chili and if you're looking for an authentic Mexican flavor it is a must. A small quantity of Manteca, lard, is also used. Don't worry too much about the type of beer to use in the recipe. I've settled on a non-alcoholic amber ale that adds flavor without bitterness to the chili. The finished sauce, which contains chocolate, is a bit like a mole. This has been well-received whenever I serve it, though I suspect the play of flavors might be too much for kids. If you're looking for a new chili, or just want to experiment, you might like to give this a try before game day. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate and Black Bean Chili...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Michael Chiarello

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided use
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided use
2 tablespoons chili powder, divided use
Masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lard (Manteca)
2 cups minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1(12-ounce) bottle beer (I like to use a non-alcoholic amber ale)
1 (14.5-oz.) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 to 2 (12-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut into large chunks
Toppings: sour cream, chopped onion, grated cheese

Directions:
1) Place diced chuck in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder. Mix well. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons masa harina and toss again to coat. The masa harina will thicken sauce as chili cooks and give it a unique Mexican flavor.
2) Heat a cast iron, or other heavy bottomed, Dutch oven on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and, when it shimmers, add meat in one layer and brown it on all sides. Add lard to pan. Remove browned meat to paper toweling. Add the onions and garlic to pan and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat until they start to caramelize and get soft. Add jalapenos and allow to cook for 2 more minutes until soft. Add tomato paste and sugar. Add remaining teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, oregano and 1 heaping tablespoons of chili powder. Add beer. Stir to incorporate everything. Add stewed tomatoes, and stir. Return meat to pan. Add chicken stock. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours until meat is tender. Strain liquid from black beans, add beans to Dutch oven and bring up to simmer. Add chocolate and stir until it melts. Serve immediately with toppings of choice or refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Chili may also be frozen. Yield: 5 servings.

46 comments :

Martha said...

I've done some of Michael's other chocolate dishes and all were good -- I may have to try this chili the next time I make chili.

Deborah said...

Gosh. I cannot even begin to imagine what this tastes like. Sounds very interesting Mary.

chapot said...

I never cook the chili with beer, I am going to try very soon, thank you for thiss recipe

My Little Space said...

What an awesome dish! The ingredients combo are very interesting. I bet it taste heavenly.

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Hi Mary, I'm going to ask your taste buds a question. I don't eat beef, but this chili sounds wonderful. If it were you would you substitute diced pork loin or chicken breasts? Thanks for your advice.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This looks dark and delicious! I agree about the volume of food some of these recipes produce. I usually end up freezing the remainder and eating it for a LONG time!

Maria Berg said...

Chocolate in the chile - I wonder what that will taste?

I am not for chili since I worked in India and was sick for a few weeks, stomach problem and they did serve cold rice and chili... did not like.

I like that you take without alcohol, to get away with the bitterness but still taste bear - good.

It was many years ago so If I had been around your place I would be very nice to try that different kind of food.
Maria Berg

figtree said...

Wow what a great chilli recipe..so unique and tasty!!

George Gaston said...

Mary, Michael Chiarello is one of my favorite chefs. All of his recipes are creative and easy to prepare.

This chili is a great change from the normal chilies, with wonderful flavors and the use of black beans. I am definitely going to add this to my "must-make" list. Many thanks...

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Nice! I like the cinnamon in there. As a Canadian I am unfamiliar with non-alcoholic beer.. ;-)

Di said...

Mary, we love chili! and chocolate, well, who doesn't? This looks like a hearty one and will give it a go. Your recipes are always the best!

Claudia said...

I absolutely can taste this - chocolate in the chili is a perfect addition. All this dark, warm comfort.

storyteller at Sacred Ruminations said...

Oh my ... I love chocolate and chili too, but I've never thought about eating them together. Intriguing ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

Katherine Aucoin said...

Definitely printing this one out. I like how you cut it down for smaller families. The ingredients are so different than average chili con carne. This sounds amazing.

Twin Tables said...

Two of my favorite words in the culinary vernacular: chocolate and black beans (I guess that is three!) Love the recipe.

Mary said...

Rhonda, pork would work well. Chicken would be overwhelmed and over-cooked. Blessings...Mary

Barbara said...

Super recipe and I bet you can barely taste the chocolate- it't there for depth of flavor and color. Sort of like coffee in a chocolate recipe.
This would be a hit dish for SuperBowl.

grimmface said...

thanks for commenting it made me really happy to know somebody is looking at my blog even though i just started. im really excited to start. and all your recipes look so yummy!

noble pig said...

I love what chocolate does to chili. It just gives it that something-something that makes me swoon.

Joanne said...

This recipe immediately grabbed my attention when I saw it in Google Reader. I love the modifications you've made to make it more manageable for the average person. Sounds amazing...chocolate and chili go so well together.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Oh Mary,thanx a ton...so sweet ...yeah we all over ate but if i make this elcious creation u have we will double overeat-what a intriugn combo....

A Year on the Grill said...

a chocolate chili will certainly get a lot of lookers today... A fabulous recipe

I know what you mean about cooking for two. Seems I cook only about every three days cause there is always so much left over

Debinhawaii said...

It looks very rich and hearty. The non-alcoholic beer is a great idea too.

Maria said...

Chocolate chili? Sign me up!

Anonymous said...

The first time I made Tortilla Soup I didn't have any corn tortillas to thicken it. I used a partial box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix and it worked well. Maybe this could be substituted for the masa - I don't like to buy a big bag of something to only use a small amount.

Martha in The Frozen Tundra of Kansas

Katy ~ said...

A unique (to me) recipe. I'll wager it's quite sophisticated and incomparable.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love chili!!!

Mary said...

Martha, it will work to thicken, but you will not get the uniquely Mexican taste that masa gives.

Pam said...

I've seen so many recipes for chili using chocolate but have never tried it myself. Yours looks amazing Mary.

Lea Ann said...

My son puts chocolate in his chili. I'm going to try this recipe. Love the black bean twist.

Donna-FFW said...

What an intriguing chili recipe.. I love the addition of beer and chocolate together. Does sound perfect for the big upcoming football day!

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

this looks very similar to my standard chili recipe - good stuff!

Cathy said...

Looks like a very flavorful recipe, Mary. I always add a bit of chocolate to whatever chili recipe I use. It's so nasty outside right now, perfect chili weather.

Foley said...

This recipe really piqued my interest..sounds really good!!

WizzyTheStick said...

very, very curious about the chocolate element.

Alessandra said...

By unsweetened chocolate do you mean dark chocolate? Any preference on the account of cocoa percentage?

Chef Aimee said...

Its like mole only BETTER because its Chili! What Chili powder do you use? I use Penzey's Chili 9000.

Mary said...

Aimee, I made this with McCormick chili powder for the blog version of the recipe. It's available to everyone. When I'm not writing for the blog, I grind and use an ancho chili. You can't go wrong with Penzey's products, but watch the heat.

Mary said...

Alessandra, I used regular unsweetened baking chocolate. Rather than use a sweetened product, I sweeten as necessary with sugar. This is personal preference - a bittersweet chocolate could also be used. I'm looking for depth of flavor and I think the unsweetened chocolate is the best way to get it.

Bridgett said...

I have always been hesitant to use chocolate in savory dishes but I figure if I like salted chocolates then it only can make it all the better. This looks delicious.

sparkly said...

Is this like a mole chili? My husband would never eat this, but to hell with that, I'll make it for myself. LOL

Jules

Mary said...

Go for it Jules. It is like, but not as complex as a true mole would be. Happy New Year!

Nina Timm said...

Rich, creamy and comforting....just about everything I am looking for in a meal!!

Mary said...

Nina, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll join us often.

Sweet and Savory said...

A new chili for us. This is great.

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