Monday, November 19, 2012

Amber's Award Worthy Chili

It is seriously stormy outside. Like stormy, stormy. The kind that turns an umbrella inside out, the kind that makes the middle of the day look like midnight, the kind that makes you want to say, "Ef off, work" so you can go home and cuddle by the fire, watch a movie, and drink a hard cider while a steaming pot of chili cooks on the stove… Do you see where I’m going here?

When Emily posted this month’s ingredient “Cocoa” I was a bit uninspired. I know, call me a crazy person. Can I even call myself a woman? But I just love love love savory food and dessert is usually a thing I do only because everyone else is doing it. But then I ran into Andrew Robinson, a fellow parent at the daycare where I take my kids, who also loves to cook who also happens to be a BATF follower, and we had an inspiring conversation, whilst peeling off children’s coats and hanging out by the sign in sheet. “Chili,” he said. And I was sold.
Turns out, like, all of the famous and award winning chili recipes have cocoa in them. That’s what all the people on Google tell me--it's like the secret ingredient to chili success. So I found a few ‘award-winning’ recipes and made up my own. Some had all beans and some had all meat and I thought to satisfy the carnivore in my husband and the herbivore in me, I’d do a little bit of both. And to satisfy the beer lover in both of us, I chose to add a bit of that too. It was super delicious. My 5 year old ate his entire bowl (mixed with a lot of sour cream to minimize the spice) and my 2 ½ year old only had one bite. So, there’s a 50/50 chance your kids will like it. And if you don't have small children, I recommend you add a lot more spice to this recipe! Some hot sauce, chili peppers, and anything else you can find.
My verdict on the cocoa: Though it wasn't noticeable at all, I have chosen to believe my chili wouldn't have been as good without it. Now, can I call my recipe "award-winning" too? Next up, a chili cook-off so I can officially add that to the title.
Amber’s Award-Winning Chili
1.5 lb. lean chuck, ground
1 lb. lean pork, ground
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 finely chopped onion
8 oz. hunts tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup water
1 can beer
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon (6 cubes)
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 Tablespoon warm water

1)      In a large saucepan, brown meat. Drain the fat.
2)      Add onion and garlic and soften
3)      Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes and beans and mix well
4)      Add water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander and cocoa
5)      Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 hours.
6)      In a small bowl, mix cornmeal and flour, then add warm water and mix well.
7)      Stir into chili and cook, covered for an additional 20 minutes

I chose to add all of the below garnishes, just to add a bit more fun and flavor.
1)      Sour cream
2)      Shredded cheddar cheese
3)      Chives and/or green onions
4)      Heavy dash of hot sauce
Yow! Lookin' hot.
Tortilla chips or sourdough bread! This would have been excellent in a bread bowl.


  1. Yes! This is exactly the kind of recipe I was hoping for when I picked cocoa! And I need one more dinner for my frozen dinner exchange this month and now I’ve found it. AND I haven’t had many prego cravings but I will say I’ve gone through several tubs of Mexican sour cream, so your chili topped with sour cream will make me and the baby very happy!

  2. I was seriously wondering why the sun even bothered to rise in the PNW today. It's so dark. Today is screaming for this kind of comfort food. I want this right now!