Thursday, September 26, 2013

Classic Beef Chili

Beef chili is one of those foods that can be eaten any time of the year as is, with bread, rice, corn or tortilla chips and can be topped with a number of things. The best thing about this dish besides being so easy? It's a one pot meal!

My version not only has the traditional flavors of cumin and paprika, but it also has a secret ingredient which is unexpected. Cocoa powder! Yup, (unsweetened) cocoa powder. This little gem adds such a depth of flavor and makes it well rounded. If you don't tell anyone, no one would even notice besides saying how delicious it is.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon chili powder*
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (use your favorite!)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups kidney beans
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (optional)
  • Salt*
*The chili powder and salt can be adjusted to suit your taste. 


In a large pot over medium high heat, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add in the minced garlic and continue to sauté. Next, add in the ground meat and begin to brown. Do not stir it too much. Allow for the meat to brown and start by putting in all the spices: cumin, coriander, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, chili powder. Continue to brown the beef for 10-15 minutes allowing any liquid released from the beef to evaporate. Next, add in the worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, stir well. Add in the BBQ sauce and continue to cook on medium heat. Add in the diced tomatoes and depending on how thick you want your chili to be, add water. Stir well and reduce heat to low and allow it cook to let the flavors infuse. After 45 minutes, taste to adjust seasonings. Salt can be added at this point. Add in the kidney beans and bell peppers and stir. Let it cook for 10 minutes, still keeping the bell peppers crunchy.

Serve with corn chips, crusty bread or rice.

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pico de gallo
  • Diced avocado
  • Corn
  • Sour cream
  • Chives/Scallions
Makes 4-6 servings


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