Okay, so it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a recipe on here; it’s about time I did! I actually have two chili recipes. One, my seven pepper chili recipe, I’ll have to share later. It’s super spicy, and since I’m breastfeeding, and little man is not as much a fan of the spice as the rest of us, I won’t be making it for a bit. The other is a recipe I’ve been perfecting for a little while, and I’m ready to share it. It is delicious.
You see, a few months ago, I got the bright idea that perhaps I should do something to keep the heat in the chili (because, let’s face it, who wants chili that’s not very spicy?). This “secret” ingredient to my chili not only allows me to keep the heat, but it makes it so that the chili pairs really nicely with some of the richer wines in our cellar. In fact, the first time I made it, I paired it with a Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has subtle notes of chocolate and nutmeg.
Guess what I added to the chili?
I added chocolate and nutmeg. I know! It seems so crazy, but I was thinking if a Mexican molé is made with chocolate to help tame the spice and add richness, why can’t I add it to my chili. And, I’m sure there are like five thousand chocolate chili recipes out there that already exist.
Here’s a funny story before I get to the recipe. When my oldest son (that’s him in his bowling team photo) was much younger, say 5, he was an extremely picky eater. I taught him to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches based upon a suggestion from another mom friend, and that curbed a lot of the picky eating habits (if he didn’t want what I’d made, he could make himself such a sandwich). However, it didn’t curb all of the picky eating. He just wouldn’t eat any red meats or pork or chicken. He liked chocolate. So, when he would say “What’s for dinner?” I would say, “Steak.” He would respond with, “I don’t like steak.” I would respond with, “But it’s chocolate steak. You like chocolate.” Guess what? He would eat said steak. Then he would say “I don’t like steak; but I like chocolate steak.”
Of course, there was no chocolate in the steak, or the chicken, or the pork. I lied to my kid. There it is. He found out about it several months later at my sister’s house in New Orleans. Her kids were all “That’s not chocolate!” And so, yeah, the spell was broken, but he would pretty much eat anything I made following that.
So, I think of that story when I make this chili. Of course, there is chocolate in this recipe.
So this time around, I used canned beans. It made enough for 3 adult and 1 toddler-sized portions for 4 days. Crazy, right? I wanted to spend time unpacking and doing taxes instead of cooking, though, so that’s what I did. I served it over couscous with some cheddar cheese.
- 6 14 oz. cans of kidney beans
- 2 14 oz. cans of black beans
- 2 28 oz. cans of fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 12 oz. bottle of dark beer
- 1 bar of Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate
- 1 lb. of pork Italian sausage
- 1 lb. of chicken Italian sausage
- 2 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 packet of your favorite chili mix
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 4oz can chopped hot chilies
- 1 bell pepper
- several grinds of black pepper
- Chop onion and sauté in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Once onion becomes transparent, add garlic, seasoning packet, and other dried herbs. When fragrant, add the sausage and brown sausage. Deglaze pan by adding the bottle of beer. Cook until beer reduces, about 7 minutes. Rinse canned beans and add them to the pot along with the tomatoes, canned diced chilies, and bell pepper. If needed, add water or broth to pot until beans are just barely covered. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, break chocolate bar up and add to pot. Cook until beans are tender. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over couscous with cheese and sour cream.