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Chocolate and Black Bean Chile (Chocolate Chile Con Carne)


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  • 1-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided use
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, divided use
  • Masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lard (Manteca)
  • 2 cups minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I like to use a non-alcoholic amber ale)
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 (12-ounce) cans black beans, drained
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut into large chunks
  • Toppings: sour cream, chopped onion, grated cheese


Servings 5


Step 1

1) Place diced chuck in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder. Mix well. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons masa harina and toss again to coat. The masa harina will thicken sauce as chili cooks and give it a unique Mexican flavor.
2) Heat a cast iron, or other heavy bottomed, Dutch oven on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and, when it shimmers, add meat in one layer and brown it on all sides. Add lard to pan. Remove browned meat to paper toweling. Add the onions and garlic to pan and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat until they start to caramelize and get soft. Add jalapenos and allow to cook for 2 more minutes until soft. Add tomato paste and sugar. Add remaining teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, oregano and 1 heaping tablespoons of chili powder. Add beer. Stir to incorporate everything. Add stewed tomatoes, and stir. Return meat to pan. Add chicken stock. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours until meat is tender. Strain liquid from black beans, add beans to Dutch oven and bring up to simmer. Add chocolate and stir until it melts. Serve immediately with toppings of choice or refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.


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