This is the ideal dish for a casual get-together, as everyone can customize their servings by adding their own choice of toppings. Dark chocolate gives the chili depth and balances the spicy seasonings. Serve with warm corn tortillas or corn muffins.
- 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
- 11⁄2 lb (750 g) lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons pure ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet paprika or regular sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (15 oz/470 g) crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) dry red wine
- 2 cans (15 oz/470 g each) black beans, drained
- 2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- Grated sharp Cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro leaves, and sliced green onions for topping
Makes 6 servings
- In a 51⁄2- to 7-qt (5.5- to 7-l) dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, and serrano chiles and sauté until the garlic and onions are tender and golden, about 4 minutes.
- Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up any larger pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8–10 minutes.
- Stir in the chile powder, paprika, cumin, and chipotle chiles. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, and wine. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the chili has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
- Add the black beans and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts. Cover the pot and continue cooking over low heat until the flavors are blended and the beans are heated through, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the toppings in individual bowls. Ladle the chili into serving bowls and serve right away, passing the toppings at the table.
Appears with permission from Cooking in Cast Iron. Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith; photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright 2010 by Weldon Owen Inc.