Sunday, November 8, 2009



I’m not nuts on chili, but I do occasionally enjoy a smashed baked potato or grilled hot dog topped with it. Store-bought chili has always disappointed me, and I haven’t found a restaurant chili that really rocks my socks. So, rather than purchase already-made chili, every once in a while, I’ll make my own and freeze it in small containers to be used for baked potatoes and hot dogs.


Chili is one of those intensely personal dishes. With beans or without? Ground meat or chunks? Beef, pork, chicken, turkey or vegetarian? Hot or mild? Since I don’t eat it that often, I’m not exactly a chili expert. But I know what I like to eat: something with deep flavor and a nice tinge of spicy, smoky hotness, with beans please, and not too soupy. That’s what this recipe delivers.

I started with a recipe, titled “Best Chili,” from Moms Who Think, and I tweaked it to make it my own. According to Moms Who Think, the original recipe was a blue ribbon winner at a chili cook-off and took home the prize of $20,000. Is it the best? I haven’t tasted enough chilis to know. Guy and I both liked this chili recipe, and I would definitely make it again. The beer and cocoa, along with the spices, develop a deep, pleasing flavor. I added beans to the pot, since they were missing from the original recipe. If you’re not a bean person, leave them out.

A Good Chili Recipe Printable recipe
Adapted from Moms Who Think
Rating: 9 out of 10

INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 lbs. good-quality lean ground beef (I used Black Angus)
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp.. ketchup
1 (7 oz.) can fire-roasted green chilies, peeled and diced, with liquid
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce (I used Contadina)
1 tsp. California hot sauce (or other hot sauce of choice)
3/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
1-1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup beer (I used Budweiser)
3 (14.5 oz.) cans of beans of choice (I used black beans)

In a heavy Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot, brown the meat, preferably in two stages. (If you put all the meat in at once, it will steam rather than brown.) Drain off all but 2 Tbsp. fat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir till tender. Add the other half of the meat that you took out, along with the remaining ingredients except beans, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2-1/2 hours. Drain and rinse beans and add to pot. Cook an additional 1/2 hour. Serves 6-8


Queen B. said...

That looks good to me ! I'm willing to give it a whirl !

Janice said...

I've never put cocoa in my chilli before, but I can see where that is coming from. I'm going to try this, it looks like my kinda chilli.

Debbie said...

Looks very good Judy. I recently made a crock pot chili that I added a can of dark beer to. I'd like to try your recipe because mine tasted way too spicy and also used curry which just overpowered the entire dish. I like your addition of cocoa powder. Sounds great!

Denise said...

Judy, this looks fantastic, love it over potatoes!!!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

This looks so thick and delicious! Perfect for topping potatoes!

♥peachkins♥ said...

The chili looks wonderful..

teresa said...

i love the use of cocoa powder, i've never tried it that way before, looks delish!

Coleen's Recipes said...

Over a nice big baking potato? Oh man yes!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Judy, this is quite an intriguing recipe with cocoa powder. I'll file this away and try this sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

Lynda said...

I love chili, although it doesn't always love me! I too like black beans in my chili, Judy, and your version here sounds really delicious!

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

A wonderful chili recipe that match perfect with black beans, now I'm hungry!!



Barbara Bakes said...

I like chili served the same way! Although it's great with a nice slice of corn bread! I don't know if I'm brave enough to add cocoa.

Judy said...

Barbara, It's only 1 tsp. and you don't taste it at all. 1 tsp. mixed with all the other ingredients is unnoticeable, but it adds to the depth of flavor in this chili.

petite nyonya said...

I love chilli & can have it anytime of the day. Bring it on! :D

Linda said...

I'm nuts over chili! ... and this looks great! I'm always willing to try a great chili recipe... and this sounds great!

Sweet and Savory said...

This looks like a great chili recipe. I just made a chili so I won't make this, for a while, but I hope to get to it. Maybe, we should eat more often so we can eat all the food, we think looks delicious. Groan.