Best Chocolate Chili

Anne Dolce


For the rub

  • 3 Tablespoons  chile powder
  • 1 Tablespoon  cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon  paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon  cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon  dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon  garlic powder

For the chili

  • 2 Pounds  shell steak, fat removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Pounds  beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  •   Vegetable oil, for frying
  • medium-sized onions, diced
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • bell peppers, diced
  • jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon  cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons  chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon  cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon  coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon  paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon  garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon  oregano
  • One  28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Cups  beef stock
  • 1 Cup  water
  • One  15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

When I first proposed this recipe to my mother, she was more shocked about me choosing to use steak instead of ground beef than the mention of chocolate. She merely batted an eyelash at the latter. While unconventional and strange, both the steak and chocolate make this chili a rich and flavorful stew that convinced my mother that steak has a place in chili, too. Because it reminded us of a Latin-inspired beef stew, we served it over mashed potatoes.

Click here to see Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!


For the rub

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

For the chili

Dredge the meat in the rub well and set aside. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, up to a day.

In a large Dutch oven, heat ½ cup of the vegetable oil over high heat and brown the meat. Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Next, add the peppers and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the cocoa powder and all of the herbs and spices and stir well so that they're well combined and the onions and peppers are coated. Next, add the can of crushed tomatoes, beef stock, and water. Add the meat and all of its juices back to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the flavors have developed and the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the beans last and heat through. Skim off the fat before serving.

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