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Chocolate chili con carne

>> Thursday, December 3, 2009

chile con carne y chocolate
Although it's not a very Spanish dish, I love chile con carne. When my partner and I were dating, we used to frequent one of those fast-food pseudo-American restaurants in Spain (so what?... they were cheap... we were young and in need of money... ahem) and I always ordered chile con carne, that was served at cauterization temperature in an earthenware little cazuela, with a hamburger on top and a slice of cheese with a radioactive color. Yes, disgusting. I'm not saying chile con carne is junk food, just that the quality of the restaurant wasn't... the best. Well, I've come to develop a somewhat finer palate over the years, which doesn't mean that I don't like some junk food once in a while. In fact, this type of restaurant is among my kids' favorites... what's the use of so much palate evolution? Never mind, for me to fight nostalgia for the old times when the fat I ate didn't love to accumulate around my waist as much as it does now, I prepare a homemade chile con carne, much yummier than that restaurant's chile and with an irresistible addition: chocolate.


This recipe comes from a cookbook called The Bittersweet World of Chocolate, though it's undergone some tweaking. I recommend this book, it not only includes scrumptious sweet and savoury recipes with chocolate, but tells some very interesting things about cocoa growing and trade. It makes a good Christmas present... hint. The addition of chocolate in this dish relates it to the amazing Mexican mole, one of the most incredibly delicious sauces I've ever tried. I still recall the first time I tasted it, in a Mexican restaurant in a backroad... picture it, Sicily 1920... no, New Jersey, last century... tears spring to my eyes when I remember that spicy mole de pollo... the impression was so unforgettable that I even remember the name of the restaurant 12 years later: Kiki Rios...

Chile con carne and chocolate

  • 750g minced meat
  • 250g boiled Pinto beans, with the resulting stock (you can use canned beans)
  • 1 red pepper (the recipe calls for a green one)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 800 g canned pureed tomatoes (the recipe calls for 2 tbsp only)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 4 dried chilis (the recipe calls for 1 tsp of chili powder. The result is a lightly hot dish. The hotness can be adjusted to your taste)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (more can be used, I add 3 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (this amount is a bit excessive for me, taking into account that the allspice that's also added has a similar taste)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice (you better grind it or add it wrapped in a net or inside a tea strainer, so that you don't bite into the grains)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar (I don't add this and I don't miss it)
  • 120 ml bean stock
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
I also added a glass of red wine, a good addition for any dish... well, almost.

Start by peeling the garlic and then smash it. Dice the onions and red pepper. Pour some olive oil in a pan or even in a large casserole and fry the vegetables until wilted. I add the garlic nearly at the end so that it doesn't burn. Take the vegetables out of the pan and leave aside. Use the flavored oil to fry the meat on high heat. Stir to coat all the meat in oil and brown it. When done, return the vegetables to the pan or casserole and add the rest of the ingredients: beans (previously cooked in water with a bay leaf and some salt), tomato puree, ketchup and all the spices, along with the bean stock. Stir thoroughly, cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Watch the inside every now and then and stir if necessary, so that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom. Add some water if it gets too dry. Or, if you can't resist your primal instincts... some more red wine.


After 45 minutes, try the seasoning and add salt if needed. You can serve it with boiled rice, but I prefer mine with an oven roasted potato... yum. This is a super easy dish, perfect for feeding a large bunch of people. And also fit for warming you up in this chilly Autumn... who could ask for more?

38 comentarios:

Divina Pe December 3, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

I would love to have a bowl of chili con carne. I made them a long time ago but haven't tried it with chocolates. I'm sure they taste really good. Your photo is full of goodness. Love the color.

Peggy December 3, 2009 at 3:17 PM  

Dish sounds amazing! Definitely could use some tasty chile for the cold days ahead!

Bellini Valli December 3, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

The two flavours just seemt o marry well generation after generation.

NOELLE December 3, 2009 at 4:16 PM  

Que rico! I really like the photos! Makes me want to dip in!

Tasty Eats At Home December 3, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

I am a huge fan of chili con carne! And yes, chocolate works so well in the recipe!

Vegetable Matter December 3, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

Beautiful!

Drick December 3, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

what a wonderful recipe - will be on my list of things to cook for sure - love it!

Erica December 3, 2009 at 11:05 PM  

I love chili con carne too! It is such comforting dish. It looks delicious, Miriam.Me encantan tus fotos.

Diana Bauman December 4, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

I love chili con carne, and mole, ohh... so good! Also, congrats, Foodgawker posted your picture on facebook!

citronetvanille December 4, 2009 at 3:10 AM  

Never thought of chocolate in savory dishes, eventhough it seems to become trendy. The chili looks so delicious!

penny aka jeroxie December 4, 2009 at 7:23 AM  

I usually add either chocolate or expresso to mine. works wonders!nice work!

devoted4life December 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

Okay, so chili.. yum! Chili with chocolate?? Irresistable! Can't wait to try this recipe!

Miriam December 4, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

Divina: thanks!
Peggy: mmmm
Val: yes!
Noelle: it was delicious, if I may say so myself... ;-)
Tasty: sure!
VM: thanks!
Drick: hope you like it!
Erica: gracias!!
Diana: thanks a lot, I wouldn't know if it wasn't for you, I wasn't a fan of Foodgawker in FB... now I am :-)
CetV: funny, but you can find chocolate in traditional game dishes in Spain... with wild boar or hare, for example.
Penny: thanks!
Dev4life: hope you like it!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2009 at 7:37 PM  

This looks great! Was thinking of a chili dish for the crazy couple of weeks to come and I think I might have just found my recipe!

5 Star Foodie December 4, 2009 at 8:47 PM  

This sounds amazing! I love the cocoa in here, yum!

Jessie December 4, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

I know I always say this but this truly looks delicious! I love the use of chocolate in here. I wish i can have a bowl of this right now

Tabel20 December 5, 2009 at 12:22 AM  

Thanks for the recipe. I love to try Chocolate chili con carne. Will post after I will taste it :)

MC December 5, 2009 at 4:13 AM  

I looove mole. What a great idea to put chocolate in chili con carne!

Sophie December 5, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

A georgous dish!! I also love cholate in my hot meat dishes! thanks!

Alina December 5, 2009 at 10:40 PM  

Miriam, your recipes are always so unique and complex (in a really good way), I admire your cooking style! I haven't yet tried anything of your dishes though - I feel like they would be a big challenge for me and I don't feel ready. But I hope when Christmas time comes... I'll try some!

Junglefrog December 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

What a fabulous combination to have chili con carne (which I love) and chocolate! I just bookmarked it so I can try it out!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

Miriam - I made this on the weekend

http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2009/12/chocolate-chili-con-carne.html

and my husband LOVED it. Normally my chili does not have enough kick for him but he love the complexity of the flavour of this one... Thanks for the inspiration.

Cocina Savant December 8, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

This looks spectacular. Finding the right balance in chili is quite a challenge and the consistency of this one looks superb.

Miriam December 8, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

5 Star Foodie: thanks!
Jessie: it's indeed comforting, I will make it again soon ;-)
Tabel20: good!
MC: it's really a good idea
Sophie: thanks!
Alina: come on! You're a wonderful cook, you can tackle any of my dishes, no doubt!
Simone: hope you like it!
Mardi: so nice that you tried it and liked it! It makes me feel useful somehow :-)
Cocina Savant: true, the balance is a bit tricky. Thanks for visiting!

sarah December 10, 2009 at 3:05 PM  

oh yummy, its perfect to have chili con carne on a spanish food blog or any food blog as its one of my favorite dishes, I add chocolate as well but use less spices, yours looks delicious!

Miriam December 13, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

Sarah: yes, it's not very Spanish, but that's what globalization is about... ;-)

connectonlineshop January 6, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

wow awesome Chocolate chili con carne..thanks for sharing :)

summeronlinestore January 6, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

very nice blog information...thanks

perfumeinside January 6, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

chocolaty sound great...I will try it

shopinsummer January 8, 2010 at 12:40 AM  

its very great dish...i love to eat it

John January 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM  

i love this dish....its very cool :)

Miriam January 12, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

Thanks everyone!

Restaurang January 21, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

the colour is very attracting and its like my mouth becomes full off water :)great...

Resa February 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

wow looks cool...thanks for sharing

Nasir February 22, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

yummmy :)

John February 23, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

love to eat it soon. Yummy

Smink March 9, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

Nice blog keep posting more stuff.
I will´fallow you!

Anonymous April 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

Awesome recipe! I made it this evening and it tasted very good. The cocoa is the star in this dish.

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