I wanted something rich.
I wanted something incredibly flavorful.
And I wanted some chipotle peppers in my chili. I love the flavor of chipotle peppers, but sometimes the heat can be over powering. So I needed something to mellow the heat and add richness. I told my husband I was going to add a few secret ingredients, and when I told him the secret was coffee and cocoa he made a face at me like I’m a crazy woman. But I told him… it’s kind of like when you put vanilla in your chocolate chip cookie dough, you don’t bite into the cookie and think—oh yeah, there’s the vanilla—but it adds a depth of flavor to the over-all cookie experience. Similarly… this chili doesn’t taste like coffee or chocolate, however I think they add a mellow richness that seems to temper the heat of the chipotle peppers and enhance the flavor.
But this is a lot of talk and not enough chili in your mouth. So get to it. And tell me if you do not agree; this is GREAT chili.
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you likely won’t use the whole can)
- 1 15 oz can chili beans*
- 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans*
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans*
- 1 15 oz can unseasoned black beans*
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes**
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes**
- 1 cup brewed coffee (I used a dark roast.)
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp chipotle chili pepper (optional for more heat)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste (I used approx. 1 tsp and ½ tsp respectively)
- *I like a mixture of beans in my chili, if this freaks you out, you can go all chili beans, or all kidney, or whatever your preference is.
- **The people around me are picky about chunks of tomatoes, so I usually use only one can petite dice tomatoes, if you prefer a chunkier chili, you can swap a can of diced for a can of crushed, or vice versa.
- Brown beef with onion and garlic. (I use extra lean, so it does not need to be drained)
- Open the can of chipotle peppers, and grab 2-3. (You can use more if you like it super spicy, if you are not used to chipotle peppers, I recommend starting with 2, you can add more later if you want more heat.) Finely chop the peppers and add to the pot with the beef (seeds and all).
- Drain and rinse your beans (none of that slimy can-juice nonsense, please) and add those to the pot along with all the tomatoes.
- Add coffee and stir. Thin with water, if desired.
- Add cocoa, cumin, chili powder, chipotle chili pepper, paprika, and salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, then taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. (You could add more peppers now for more heat.)
- Bring to a boil. Once it bubbles, turn it back to a simmer, stirring only occasionally to prevent sticking. Simmer for an hour or more.
- Serve with corn muffins crumbled on top and a cool creamy dollop of sour cream. YUM!