The reason why the Aztecs and Mayans have been adding chili powder to hot chocolate is because the two flavors play off each other, intensifying or deepening the flavor of the hot chocolate.
Cocoa is added to chili for the same reason. It adds a layer of flavor to the chili powder, beans, meat, and the tomato sauce, making the chili taste richer, offering a complex, as opposed to a simple, appeal to your palate as well as a longer lingering of flavor. You can adjust the amount up to 1 tablespoon per pound of meat keeping in mind that the intention of adding cocoa isn’t to taste the cocoa itself, but to give the chili multiple dimensions.
What is also adding to the rich flavor of this recipe is beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, green chilies and Penzey’s Chili Con Carne seasoning, which, in addition to being chili powder, contains oregano, coriander, red and green bell peppers, black pepper, allspice, cilantro and cloves.
“Chili con carne or chilli con carne, meaning ‘chili with meat’, also known as simply chili or chilli, is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin. The original dish originated in southern Texas with working-class Mexican women.”
- 1 15 ounce can beef broth
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 white or yellow carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 15 ounce cans mini diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 4 ounce can chopped green chilies, or two fresh jalapeños, membranes and seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Hershey’s unsweetened baking cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons Penzey’s Chili Con Carne Seasoning
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can pinto or cannelloni beans
Cook the onions and carrots in the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven for 10 minutes, then remove to a bowl. Cook the meat in the Dutch oven, add the onion mixture, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth chopped green chilies, beans and seasonings. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and let cook uncovered for about 40 minutes.
Best made the day before. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and sour cream.