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Recipe: Chili of Chocolate Awesomeness

I’ve been making chili since I could cook, have gone through versions that included everything from red bell peppers to sirloin steak.  This recipe is the culmination of 20+ years of experimentation and is my current favorite.


  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cans (28oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans chili beans (spicy is good), undrained
  • 4 tbsp chili powder (to taste, you might like a bit more)
  • 1/2 square grated unsweetened baking chocolate 
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ancho powder


Heat up a large soup/stock pot on full wack (in Jamie-speak this means “high”) and put in the salt, pepper, garlic and onions.  When the onions/garlic just start to brown, add in the meat.  Press it down firmly and leave it…seriously, do not touch it…for about 15 minutes.  You want to get a nice brown crust on the meat.  Use a spatula and turn over the meat in sections, press it down hard again and let it sit untouched for 15 more minutes.

After the meat is browned, break it up with the spatula and then throw everything else into the pot.  Mix it all up and turn the heat down to medium.  Cover it, but not tightly…you want evaporating water to escape.  Let it burble away to itself for about an hour, stirring occasionally, then eat it up yum with crackers or sweet Jiffy cornbread.  

The proportions of the recipe can be changed any way you like.  For instance the pot I have on the stove right now is using onion powder, dehydrated onions and garlic powder since the Husband is allergic to onions.  If you like your sinuses clear, double the ancho powder (triple for actual nosehair combustion).  If you’re a veg-head, like Caitlin, try tofu crumble or portabella mushrooms.  Serving suggestions likewise are anything you like.  Sour cream, cheddar cheese, fresh salsa…knock yourselves out!

UPDATE:  Holy crap, Jamie has his own Nintendo DS game!!  A book’s worth of recipes, a test kitchen…looks like a complete blast!