Monday, January 7, 2013

Recipe 16: Chocolate Chorizo Chili

Chocolate Chorizo Chili
Ladies und Gentlemen.  When you are having a bunch of lady nerds over for the Ladies World Series* (aka, the Downton Abbey season 3 USA premiere), there is no choice but to opt for decadence.   The dowager would have it no other way!  After having an unforgettable dark chocolate and chorizo tapa a few years back at some mysterious tapas restaurant in Manhattan at a friend's birthday party,  I hit up the Googles and came across a Cooking Light recipe I promptly bookmarked.

I've been circling this recipe for a longggg while now, and thought this would be a totally appropriate locale.  Because really - beer, chocolate, spicy hot British man servants?  There really is no recipe more appropriate for this event.  I combed over about three very, very different recipes, pilfered them for things I liked, and decided not to use things I didn't like (Cooking Light, Nigella Lawson via Baking with Bree, Feasting at Home).  What came of this?  Sheer deliciousness, boys and girls.  I've been shockingly positive in the new year, but this may, just may, be the best chili I have ever had, ever.  I kind of want to enter a chili cook-off with it (dudes, if you do, tell me about it!).

A few notes: 
Definitely splurge on the chorizo.  Most grocery stores will have some, but make sure it is the kind that oozes orange oil all over your hands.
Definitely use a chocolate stout.  I think a general stout will work, but if you can find it, roll with it.  It's well worth the extra burst of flavor you get.  Sidebar note, I used a local beer (Night Shift's Taza beer), which had in turn used a local chocolate company's chocolate (Taza) to brew this.  Even better?  It was bottled four days before I cracked it open - this vital information was handwritten on the label.  Yay local!  Holy guacamole.  A beautiful Slumerville marriage just happened in my Le Creuset, and in your mouth. 

*Oscars has the lock on the Ladies Superbowl title.

Chocolate Chorizo Chili
Serves 8

Olive oil (as much as you want to saute in, usually about 1-2 Tbsp)
2 medium onions, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
2 carrots, chopped
6.5 oz chorizo, diced
1 lb ground beef (sirloin or a leaner variety work well)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup chocolate stout
1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
1 can (14-15 oz) pinto beans
1can (14-15 oz) red kidney beans
2 cans (14-15 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1 stick cinnamon
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste (if you need more)
Garnishes: Sour cream, Avocado, Cheese, Popcorn, Scallions, etc., your spoon


1. In your largest soup pot or Le Creuset, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high for approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
2.  Add peppers and carrots and saute 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to incorporate.
3.  Add chorizo and saute, 2 minutes.
4.  Add beef, and saute, stirring constantly to break up the larger chunks, until the meat is more brown than pink, approximately 5-6 minutes.
5.  Carefully, because holy hot and heavy (this just got filtered for porn), pour off some of the excess fat and juice.  If you're not as jacked as moi, use a spoon to skim it out instead of your muscles and superior motor skillz.
Look at the bubbly bubbly stout! Magic!
6. Add the stout and watch it bubble, witches!  But then stir it to incorporate it, and then let it cook around 3-4 minutes to absorb a little.
7.  Add the chilies, stir, and let cook 2 minutes.
8.  Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, and cinnamon stick, stir, and bring to a simmer.
9.  Once you have a solid simmer going, add the chocolates, stir, and partially cover.  Lower to maintain a slow simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how juicy vs. solid you want your chili to be.
10.  Serve with any of the garnishes, but most importantly, do not judge your guests when they can't help but lick the bowl clean. 

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