Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chocolate Chip Chili

Chili, originally uploaded by Kim De.

I am on the hunt. I am in a constant search for the worlds greatest chili. Saturday on the Today Show Nigella Lawson made chili - just one day before my two football teams have battle it out. Coincidence? I think not!

So what was I looking for that I didnt already have? Well for one I wanted to try it with bites of stew beef instead of ground. And the flavor? Well I wanted to explore a deeper richness that didnt just taste of chili powder. I knew while watching her cook this might be the one.

Bo almost vetoed when he saw her drop in her last item – a tiny amount of dark chocolate chips. I told him not to worry. I promised him he would taste no chocolate; that its purpose was to enhance the other bold ingredients. He agreed to try.

The other secret weapon is a dash of cinnamon. Now mixed with the cumin and coriander plus spicy chili powder this makes total sense to me. It would add an earthiness and a sharp bite a great addition to the other more mellow flavors.

This was amazing. Like usual I made several changes to the recipe, changing a few ingredients and adjusting the amount of others. The result was a rich flavored chili with an underlying hint of spiciness.

I may have found IT!

Chocolate Chip Chili (Adapted from Nigella Lawson)

1/2 lb Mexican Chorizo cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4 1/4 lb boneless beef shank, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 onions (about 1 lb), peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 fresh long red chile, seeded
2T vegetable oil
2 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t hot chili powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
4 15-oz cans kidney pinto or black beans, drained (Optional )
3 14-oz cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Finely chop onion garlic and chile.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan (with a lid) or cast-iron or enameled Dutch oven and fry the onion, garlic and chile until soft, on low for about 10 minutes, then add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and hot chili powder stirring to combine.

Add the chorizo and beef, stirring to brown the meat.

Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, beans and diced tomatoes. Add the water and bring the chili to a boil.

Once bubbling, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the chili and give it a good stir. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven.

Cook at this low heat for 3 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight for better flavor.


  1. This is near enough my chilli recipe - so I suppose I would say this, but it's a damned good recipe. I usually break off around 150g of dark chocolate (75% cocoa) and stir it in. I've also found that a cheap and really tasty way of bulking the meat out is to use ox heart - it's got a great flavour, you've just got to be prepared to let it cook a very long time before you can chew it. Another thing that produces great results is mixing in different beans - canellini, butter, haricot and pinto all work well. Only borlotti don't seem to stand up to a chilli, as they go too soft in the long cook.

  2. Its amazing how much depth chocolate can bring to a recipe!