So did I get your attention with that recipe title? I mean “Chili” will always make me look. We love chili around here. But when followed by Chocolate…hmmm that struck me as a bit strange. But then the wheels completely fell of my cart when I saw peanut butter. Peanut Butter?!!! Really?!!! Yup. Totally serious. Peanut. Butter. I could not wait to cook up a pot. And I’m very happy to share the recipe with you today. It is absolutely delicious! The mixture of spices and chocolate give it such a depth of flavor, a real richness and umami. And that peanut butter acts not only as a thickener, but also gives the most silky creamy texture. Comfort food perfection on a cold snowy day!
Today is February 1st. This particular day lies half way between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It is St. Brigid’s Day. Brigid is one of Ireland’s patron saints. According to Irish hagiography, she was an early Christian nun & abbess who preformed many miracles. She also shares the name with an important Celtic goddess which suggests that the early church might have adopted the legends of the goddess and transformed them into the Christian persona. Interesting huh? I don’t know how many of you folks out there remembered to put a scarf out last night. You see on St. Brigid’s Eve you should always place a scarf or other piece of fabric outside.
When Brigid passes over the land that night she will bless it. You then can fetch it back inside the next day and thanks to Brigid, it has the power to protect and heal headaches, sore throats and fevers throughout the coming year! What with all the Covid still rampaging around, I wasn’t going to take any chances. My little scarf was frozen solid this morning, but is happily thawing away now, freshly imbued with healing powers. Today also marks the festivals of Imbolc and Candlemas, both of which are associated with fertility, fire, purification and weather divination. And tomorrow, my favourite varmint, Punxsutawney Phil, will be stepping out of his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob and letting everyone know if there will be 6 more weeks of winter or if instead Spring is on the way.
Right up until yesterday, much to my dismay, we really had not had any winter at all. But I woke up to snow yesterday! It snowed all day, all night and it is still snowing as I write this. Hooray! So if good ole Phil sees his shadow and we get more winter I’m fine, but even if he says Spring is coming, I will have at least had a tiny taste of winter. So this is quite an auspicious time of year! I’m very happy to be marking an event today as well. February 1st just happens to be the 10th year anniversary of the my cooking blog! Yup… Ten years ago today I posted my first recipe. It was for Cream Tea Scones with Currants.
I’ve managed to do an anniversary post nearly every year since. Pretty impressive considering how slack I can be. Last year I posted about these scrumptious Morning Buns!
One of my favorite recipes that I shared with you on an anniversary was: Model Bakery’s English Muffins:
Then there were those decadent Banana Rum Muffins:
That jaw-dropping, over the top Crack Pie:
And who can forget that magical “caviar of the South” – Pasture’s Pimento Cheese. Keep this one in mind for the Super Bowl!
And speaking of the Big Game, today’s Ground Beef Chili with Chocolate & Peanut Butter would certainly be a most welcome addition to your game day spread. You can even play a fun game with folks where you make them try to guess what the secret ingredients are in the chili. The whole time I was making it, I hid the recipe from The Husband. I just called it the “odd chili” with some mysterious ingredients. He did pretty well with his guesses. He got the chocolate pretty quickly. Not that it tastes like chocolate. It doesn’t. But he got that it was a dark richness to the dish. And although he did not guess peanut butter, he did comment on how creamy it was.
Although you can eat this chili on the day you make it, I usually try to allow it to sit in the fridge for a day or two after I make it. I find that the extra chill time allows the flavors to really blend and meld. I guess I always knew chocolate & peanut butter were two great tastes that taste great together. I mean Reese Cups have been telling us so for years. However, I would never have considered smashing a Reese Cup up and stirring it into my chili. But there you have it! So. Dang. Good.
Ground Beef Chili with Chocolate & Peanut Butter
recipe from: Aaron Hutcherson via New York Times Cooking
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 8 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 3 canned chiles in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional – we like it hot!)
- 2 pounds ground beef or ground dark turkey
- 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup stout beer (I suggest Guinness…)
- 1 cup unsalted or low-sodium beef stock or chicken stock
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed
- 4 ounces good dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- fresh lime juice ( 1 – 2 Tablespoons – optional)
- Any combination of tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro and diced avocado, for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt and sautée until the onion starts to become translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add Chiles, cocoa powder and spices. Stir to mix ingredients together and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, just until the spices become fragrant.
Add ground meat and cook until cooked through, 5 – 7 minutes.
Add tomatoes and their juices, beer and stock to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the flavors meld.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the beans, chocolate and peanut butter. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the peanut butter is completely integrated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you think it is too sweet, you can add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice.
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro or perhaps white onion. Whatever toppings you prefer. I always make up a batch of Skillet Cornbread as well when I serve chili.
Useful links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Ground Beef Chili with Chocolate & Peanut Butter:
Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Crafty Celts – Love that spoon in the chili pics above? You can get one for yourself at Crafty Celts where you will find handcrafted historically inspired bronze and silver jewelry, as well as gorgeous silverware. You might recognize some of their jewelry as it was featured in the Vikings television show.