Steak and Jalapeno Chili

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When we were discussing dinner the other day and settled on chili, my husband mentioned having a chili with slight hints of chocolate at a restaurant. We had some unsweetened cocoa which I use for baking, so we decided to add it to our chili recipe.


Around dinner time, as I got distracted with making a pumpkin pie, my husband took over making the chili entirely. Using our regular chili recipe, he added chopped jalapeno and poblano peppers, more garlic, and cinnamon which I don't usually add. He added the cocoa and substituted black pepper with cayenne. 

We love the complexity of the taste of this chili. The hot peppers add a hint of heat without being overpowering. Cinnamon, cocoa and cumin blend well together, each taking its turn with the taste buds. And steak and vegetables add greater texture to the dish than ground meat.

Steak and Jalapeno Chili
(Serves 6)

You will need:
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 lb steak, such as flank or London broil, sliced into small cubes (1/3 inch)
1 small red onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or a Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add cubed steak and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is slightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add onion, celery, bell and poblano peppers, and jalapeno and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften.

2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Cover and bring to a boil.  Season with chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir well and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through. Remove from heat, and serve with sour cream or shredded cheese.

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