I had a small roast thawed in the fridge. Too small, really, to feed the whole family the way we eat roast beef. But it was already thawed and so I wanted to come up with something interesting. I was in the mood for something different. Not just a hunk of meat…but something tasty and good and unique.
With the rule that I wanted to keep it low carb today. (I had a few too many Panera whole grain bagels over the weekend!)
In came my Well Fed paleo cookbook. No, I’m not paleo and never could be paleo long term. But I’m committed to whole foods and nothing on the paleo menu is ever going to be made with pre-packaged ingredients. Plus it totally fit the low carb/no wheat bill!
The recipe for Chocolate Chili struck my fancy. I’ve never put chocolate in chili before, but I know it’s a crucial ingredient in mole. I love that dark, rich, spicy sauce, so I thought, hey, I’ll give it a try. Princess is gone tonight, Middle is eating vegetarian right now, and That Man is still doing his crazy salad diet, so it was really going to be me and Littlest eating it. As long as I make pasta for her, she’ll eat about anything on top of it.
The results…. OH. So good. Yum. To me, it wasn’t spicy at all (there are only 2 T of chili power in it). As I ate, it made my head sweat, but it didn’t burn my mouth at all. Littlest said it was spicy but she ate a good bowl’s worth. That Man sampled the meat and said it was way too spicy for him. So if you’re a bit of a wimp in that regard, you might want to cut down on the spice! For me, it was perfect.
So here’s how I modified the original recipe to come up with Chocolate Chili.
2-3 lbs lean roast beef, trimmed and cubed (original recipe called for ground beef)
2T coconut oil
1 diced onion
4-5 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 c. beef broth
2 T chili powder
1 t all spice
1 t parsley (original recipe called for oregano but I didn’t have any)
1 1/2 T cocoa powder
salt and pepper to taste
In batches, brown the chunks of meat in coconut oil and remove. Add the onions to the pan and scrape up the browned bits. If needed, add a little broth to help deglaze the pan. Press the garlic and add the rest of the ingredients, including the browned meat. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let cook 1.5-2 hours.
For me, it was two thumbs way way up. The meat was fall apart tender and I didn’t miss the beans at all. I put a nice mound of raw spinach in the bottom of my bowl and spooned the hot chili over the top. Littlest ate hers over pasta.
On a chilly gloomy day, it was the perfect belly warmer!
10 thoughts on “Chocolate Chili So Good Your Head Sweats”
My mind just balks at the idea of chocolate chili. *grin* It’s the same thing when Mom talks about how much she loves chocolate gravy. Or when anyone says the phrase “fish taco”.
For all I know, it may be amazing, but… it’ll have to be called something different before I put it in my mouth. *snerk*
It doesn’t taste chocolately at all … it’s just really rich and deep, if that makes sense. I’m absolutely stuffed.
I had a friend once who used cocoa powder to thicken everything from chili to spaghetti sauce. If he hadn’t said something, I’d never have guessed. This sounds really good. I’ll definitely have to try it out 🙂
Hmm, I don’t think I’d like chocolate in spaghetti — but it was mighty good in chili so who knows!
If you want a nice flavor boost, after you brown the meat and cook the onions, add the garlic, chili powder, allspice, and cumin and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Then put the tomato paste in and cook it until it darkens. Then add the broth and scrape up any remaining brown bits. Put the meat and cocoa powder in and cook it. Those two steps take 2-3 minutes, but they really boost the flavor because the oils in the garlic and the spices will bloom in the heat. And the sugar in the tomato paste will caramelize. That said, I’m stealing the recipe. I’m always looking for good low-carb, no grain recipes. 🙂 The other thing that I might add is a teaspoon of instant espresso powder. Coffee adds complexity to spicy dishes. But I’d have to make it to see if it works the way my inner chef thinks it will. 😉
Good idea, Linda – I’ll definitely heat the spices a little more next time.
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for like six months! I need to get off my butt and actually make it.
I’ve tried several things out of the cookbook and I’ve been pleased with all of them!
Thanks for sharing the Chocolate Chili love – glad you like it!
Melissa, it’s a fabulous cookbook! I’ve tried the mayo, best stir fry sauce, and spinach meatballs. All two thumbs up!