Bold Beef Chili Featuring the Power Trio

November 4, 2014 | By | More

beef chili

 

You can’t very well have a blog that talks about  food and not have your own beef chili recipe, especially with winter coming. Beef chili recipes are a dime a dozen, and everyone thinks theirs is the best. I’ve made several chili recipes over the years and I’ve taken the best from each of them to create my own.

So, is this the best beef chili ever of all time? I dunno. But, it’s hands down my favorite and I think Mr. President would eat only this all winter if left to his own devices. It’s easy to make, too. Make a double batch as I do and freeze half. Doing this is a way for your “today self” to give a wonderful gift to your “tomorrow self” who will want a bowl of homemade chili on a cold night, but won’t have time to make it.

Now, for the Power Trio. This is my special mix of ingredients that knocks this beef chili out of the park. First, I use a perfectly hot chile powder that’s grown only in Chimayo, New Mexico. Unless you live in the southwest, it’s difficult to find the real deal (I buy mine here). Beware of easily available knockoff blends. You absolutely do not need to use Chimayo chile, but do choose a good quality hot chile powder as the foundation for your beef chili.

The other two players in my Power Trio are unsweetened dark cacao powder (I use Valrhona) and ground cinnamon. If this combination of ingredients in chili is new to you, I can assure you that it’s actually not unusual. The cacao lends an unbeatable richness to chili while the cinnamon tames the acidity of the tomatoes and adds an interesting flavor note.

beef chili

The Power Trio

Trust me, the combination of spicy chile, dark chocolate, and cinnamon works. Otherwise, Mexican hot chocolate would not exist. This beef chili is not at all sweet. It is zesty, bold, clear-your-sinuses spicy, rich and completely satisfying on a cold night. Serve it with wedges of warm homemade cornbread and cold beer.

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large chopped onion

8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed

5 Tbsp. good chile powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cacao powder

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 12-ounce bottle of beer

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups or 1 can cooked kidney beans

Thinly sliced scallions and shredded white cheddar cheese, optional, for serving

Step one: 

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large chopped onion

8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed

beef chiliIn a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook to brown, about 8 minutes.

Step two:

5 Tbsp. good chile powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened dark cacao powder

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 12-ounce bottle of beer

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups or 1 can cooked kidney beans

To the pot, add the chile powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, cacao powder, and cinnamon. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes or until thickened. Add beans and cook until hot, about 3 more minutes.

Serve topped with scallions and shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. As with most any hearty beef chili, this will be even better the next day. It’s perfect for serving a crowd or for serving just one, since any leftovers can be frozen.

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Category: Fall, Favorites, Food, General, Main Dishes, Recipes, Winter

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