Cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate lend darkness and depth to this hearty chili, rounded out with the complex bitterness of chocolate stout beer.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1⁄2 lb. dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (12-oz.) chocolate stout beer
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- Sour cream and roughly chopped cilantro, to garnish
- Put beans and bay leaf into a large pot and cover with 3″ water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, and stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 60-90 minutes. Drain beans, discarding bay leaf; set aside.
- Heat a 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add chiles, and cook, turning once, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water; let sit 20 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving ½ cup soaking liquid; transfer chiles and liquid to a blender with cocoa, oregano, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and puree until smooth. Set sauce aside.
- Add oil to pan and return to medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and, working in batches, add beef to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 4–6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl. Add garlic and onions to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring until slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add reserved sauce, cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Return beef to pot, plus tomatoes, beer, sugar, and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until beef is very tender, 1-1 ½ hours. Stir in reserved beans, along with chocolate, juice, salt, and pepper. Serve ladled into bowls with sour cream and cilantro.