Award Winning Chocolate Chili

By Jackie DeKnock  ,   

December 21, 2015

How sweet is this, chili and chocolate, two of my favourites! It’s a delicious combination of savoury and a little sweet. This recipe makes a big ‘batch’ of my favourite comfort food! You choose the ingredients that you like and omit the rest it’s a very flexible and forgiving dish! It might look like it takes a lot of time, but it’s fairly quick to make and the flavour improves with time – so double your recipe and you’re in chili heaven!

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  • Yields: Serves 6-8 (freezes well)

Ingredients

3 pounds ground beef (makes a big batch of chili)

6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, diced

2 carrots, sliced

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 chopped green bell pepper

2 chopped red, yellow or orange bell peppers, about ½ inch cubes

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons oregano (4 teaspoons fresh if you have it)

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup red wine

7 cups cans diced tomatoes – 2 large 28 oz. tins

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

1/3 cup steak sauce (optional)

½ teaspoon chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into large chunks

Cheddar cheese for garnish

Method

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown ground beef; drain, place in crock pot if you have one (if you don’t have a crock pot, place ground beef in a large dutch oven). Cook bacon strips, cool and crumble – add to ground beef.

In the same pot add olive oil and sauté onions until soft and slightly caramelized (browned). Add carrots, celery and bell peppers and saute vegetables until slightly softened. Add spices and heat through until you smell the spices, this releases more flavour (stir constantly to make sure the spices don’t stick & burn)! Add wine, stir to deglaze the pot and pour mixture into a crock pot (or dutch oven).

Add diced tomatoes (with all liquids), tomato paste, steak sauce and chipotles to the crock pot (or dutch oven). Stir well, cover and cook on low for about 2-6 hours until flavours are well blended (cook for 2 hours on low if using a dutch oven). Avoid lifting lid off the crock pot to reduce optimal cooking time.

Stir in kidney beans and cilantro, let cook for about 10 minutes. Last but not least, add chocolate and stir until melted. Serve immediately and sprinkle with freshly grated cheddar before serving!

Gourmet Safari Rating Scales

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= Everyday deliciously simple. Pretty quick, just get the food on the table pronto!
= Put your heart into it! Takes a little more time ‘n TLC!
= Go the extra mile! Gourmet – takes time and/or special ingredients and/or technique – worth the extra effort for the impressive WOW factor!
= You walk on water! You must be a Chef!


Budget Rating Scale:

We’ve designed a handy budget rating scale for you to guide you (and your wallet) through the recipes. Recipes are graded from the ‘high-end caviar-type budget’ to the ‘lower-end spam canned meat type-budget’.
= Spam (aka low budget)
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= Filet Mignon (aka higher budget)
= Caviar (aka expensive…but you’re worth it!)

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