Chili with Chocolate
How are all of you managing your Januaries?
Good? I hope so.
Mine is going all right.
Thanks for checking.
This chili has chocolate in it.
Not sweet chocolate. Like, savory chocolate.
Kind of like mole. Have you had mole?
Did you know the word 'mole' is Aztec for 'sauce'?
And guaca-mole is an avocado sauce?
This would be good with guacamole, is what I'm saying.
So in these photos it looks a little thin.
Eat it when you make it, but save some because it's thicker and even better the second day.
Chili with Chocolate (taken from David Lebovitz)
1 pound (450g) dried red or variegated heirloom beans
1 bay leaf
2 pounds (1kg) beef stewing meat, such as boneless short ribs or chuck roast, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) cubes
3 teaspoons salt (total), smoked if available
2 to 4 dried chiles, or one fresh chile, minced
about 2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2-3 teaspoons red chile powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (if available, otherwise use an additional teaspoon red chile powder)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups (50cl) beer
2 cans (15oz, 200g each) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 ounces (55g) unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice
Rinse the beans and sort them to remove any debris. Put in a bowl and cover with cold water and let soak overnight.
Put the cubes of beef in a freezer bag with 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, massage gently, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day drain the beans, cover with several inches (centimeters) of water. Add the bay leaf and bring to a full boil for ten minutes. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until tender, one to three hours, adding more water if the water boils away. Once done, remove the bay leaf.
In a large casserole or Dutch oven (at least 6 quarts, 6l), heat the oil. Working in batches so you don’t crowd the pan, brown the pieces of beef, resisting the urge to turn them until they are truly dark on each side. The browning adds a great deal of flavor.
As the meat pieces brown, remove the pieces to a separate plate and brown the remaining pieces. If necessary, add a bit more oil to the pan as you go.
If using dried chiles, snip them into a small bowl in very tiny pieces with scissors and pour just enough boiling water over them to cover. If using fresh chiles, remove the stem and chop them finely. (You can either discard the seeds, which are hot, or use them.)
Once all the meat is browned, fry the onions in the pot until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, as well as the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, chile powders, oregano, cumin, and paprika, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to release the flavors of the spices.
Add the beans to the pot along with their liquid, as well as the chiles, beer, tomatoes (and their juices), brown sugar, and chocolate.
Simmer the chili at the absolute lowest temperature possible (I use a flame-tamer) for at least 1 hour, or until the meat is tender. If necessary to cook much longer, you may need to add additional water if the chile becomes too thick. When done, stir in the vinegar or lime juice. Taste, and adjust any seasonings, such as the chile powder and the salt.