Beer. Chili. Chocolate. The End.
Come and get it! This chili is the real deal. Large chunks of beef chuck steeped in spices and cooked slowly in tomatoes, beer, and a bit of chocolate make this a truly remarkable chili. It’s getting colder out, and recipes that fill you up and keep you warm are now in season — and this recipe should be on your list of hearty autumn cuisine!
Usually chili is something you have to keep your eye on while on the stove, but with a slow cooker, you can combine the ingredients and come back to a well-cooked meal. Slow cookers can safely be left unattended as the ingredients cook at low temperatures for long periods of time, transforming tougher meat into wonderfully tender cuts. But because of this, you’re not going to get your awesome chili for 6 to 7 hours. Do the prep work, toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker, and occupy your time (we all know you’re just going to be thinking about this chili, though).
It’s the chocolate and the beer that make this meal a major talking point. The stout gives the chili a bite, and the chocolate cuts it while rounding out the heat and smoke. It’s a combination made by the food gods sent to earth for everyone to have one heck of a time!
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried Mexican or regular oregano, crumbled between your fingers
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
4 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery, including leaves
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, roughly chopped
One 12-ounce bottle dark Mexican beer, such as Negro Modelo
2 tablespoons tomato paste
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour, not cornstarch)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onion, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
1. Combine the chili powder, cumin seeds, cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, bay leaves, and brown sugar in a small bowl; set the spice mixture aside.
2. Add the beef to a medium bowl and season with the pepper and 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a 12-inch or larger skillet over high heat. Add enough beef to fill the pan and cook until nicely browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the browned beef to the crock of a 6-quart slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding the remaining vegetable oil between batches as necessary.
4. Add the onions, celery, and 1 tablespoon of the remaining salt to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapenos, and spice mixture and cook for 1 minute longer. Pour in the beer, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate, masa harina, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker. Cover and cook the chili on high, undisturbed or stirring only once during cooking, for 6 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the cilantro and parsley. Serve the chili hot in bowls, topped with grated cheddar, chopped green onion, and sour cream.
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