Let’s take a break from the barrage of tomato posts for a second and focus on fall. I’ve been dying for a bowl of something warm and comforting that calls to action a crisp breeze blowing through the windows. And though it’s still 80 degrees here, the humidity is all but gone and pumpkin orange sunsets light up the evening hour on a nightly basis.
This chocolate beer chili is everything you’d want out of first-of-the-season comfort food. The best part of early season chili is that, at least here in the Midwest, one can use a plethora of late-summer fresh vegetables to lighten up a typically heavy dish. Fresh corn, peppers, onion, tomatoes…all your favorite chili fixin’s at the farmer’s market, ready to dice.
Chili obviously isn’t anything new and, truth be told, I’ve made plenty of chili in past cold weather seasons. From left, there’s turkey chili, buffalo quinoa chili, poblano chili, and even beer bacon chili.
But chocolate beer chili? Never before, but this is our go-to chili from now on.
Chocolate Beer Chili
Keywords: saute soup/stew entree Super Bowl Southwest fall winter
Ingredients (serves 6)
- Handful (5-7) hot peppers (jalapeno, poblano, anaheim, habanero, etc), halved and seeded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (about 3 fresh tomatoes)
- 1 can (24 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp unsweetened chocolate
- 2 cans (14 oz each) pinto and/or black beans, drained and rinsed (3.5 cups)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 cup corn (thawed if frozen)
- 12 ounces stout (chocolate or coffee preferred, but any will work)
Preheat broiler and places hot peppers cut-side down on a baking sheet. Broil until skin is blackened and blistered, approximately 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the peppers as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and place peppers into a bowl, then cover with saran wrap and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add beef and cook until brown, breaking up large chunks as you go.
When beef is browned, add spices (chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste). Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, chocolate, beans, Worcestershire, corn and beer. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
Take cover off hot peppers and remove blistered skin (skin should come off easily). Put into food processor and pulse until well chopped (or dice by hand). Add to chili mixture.
Simmer chili at minimum 30 minutes, ideally for 1-2 hours, stirring every so often. Serve topped with cheddar cheese, onion, cornbread, sour cream, etc.
The roasted hot peppers combined with beer and chocolate leave a naturally rich, smoky taste that the fresh vegetables involved balance with perfection. Enjoy this chocolate beer chili paired with your favorite pumpkin beer and enjoy the cool breeze you’ll ultimately feel this fall.