A few years ago I think this would have sounded like the craziest dish but more and more it seems chocolate is being prepared in a savoury way. I must admit this is the first time I tried it and I was skeptical but I was pleasantly surprised. The cocoa balances with the chili powder and the chocolate melted into the sauce gives you this incredibly rich, deep flavour that doesn’t taste like chocolate but like a level of flavour on the back of your tongue.
Serves 4 – 6
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp chili
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
453 g (1 ib) Stewing Beef
1 Large Red onion, chopped
1 Medium Green Pepper, chopped
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 Cup red wine
1 680 ml jar of passata (strained tomatoes)
1 Cup sodium reduced beef stock
2 Bay Leaves
30 g (1 oz) Dark chocolate, chopped
2 540 ml cans of red kidney beans
Combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, chili, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and paprika; set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
When the oil is hot (you’ll see it ripple or bubble) add the beef in an even layer. The idea is to brown the beef and get a yummy crust on it but not cook it through. Turn over after about 4 minutes. If the meat is darkening too quickly drop the heat to medium.
When the meat is browned remove the beef and set aside.
Add the onion and green peppers; season with salt and pepper. Sauté the veggies for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions and green peppers are starting to soften.
Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the red wine to the pot and turn the heat up to high. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any of the food stuck to the bottom of the pot (deglazing).
Add the passata.
Pour the beef stock into the empty tomato jar and swish it around to release any of the tomato that may be remaining and add it to the pot. Stir well.
Season with salt and pepper and add the seasoning blend and the bay leaves again mix well.
Bring the pot to a boil and then return the beef and any juices to the pot.
Again bring the pot to a boil and then drop the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid.
Open the cans of beans and rinse them well to get rid of the excess starch.
Simmer the chili for one hour and then add in the chocolate; mix well.
When the chocolate has melted and incorporated completely, add the beans to the pot; season with salt and pepper.
Let the chili simmer for another half an hour.
Taste and adjust seasoning just before serving.
- You can use white wine in place of red if that is what you have on hand.
- You can use stock in place of wine.
- Use can use semi-sweet chocolate in place of dark, just cut the brown sugar down to ½ tbsp. instead.