Beer and Cocoa Chili


Do you love beer, chocolate and coffee?  How would you like to have all three for dinner, guilt free?  This unique chili recipe has them all, and it’s the perfect opportunity to eat something that tastes rich and fattening when you need to detox from all the holiday goodies you ate 🙂

I’ll be honest with you, this is not a quick recipe.  It has to simmer in a great big pot for 2 hours, and a slow cooker won’t work- I’ve tried.  It also has more ingredients than most chili recipes.  I promise it’s worth the effort- this is, by far, my favorite chili.  All the different flavors come together during the long simmering time to create a symphony of spicy, sweet and tangy that is unlike any other chili I’ve ever tasted.  This is a great one to make on a football-watching Sunday, or during a snow storm, or when you just want a good excuse not to go anywhere.  It’s a great way to feed a crowd, so don’t hesitate to break it out if you’ve got company coming.  Who doesn’t love a steaming bowl of chili on a cold day?

Don’t worry if you don’t like some of these flavors.  I can’t stand beer.  Like, at all. But the beer flavor cooks out and you’re left with a tang that wouldn’t be there without the beer.  The coffee and cocoa play off the chili very nicely and add a richness of flavor, but you can’t particularly taste either of them, either.

I made this in a 6 quart Dutch oven.  This recipe could easily be halved if this is too much chili for you.  For the beer, I used Guinness, but any dark beer will work.  For the strong brewed coffee, I just dumped in a cup of water and added a packet of instant coffee powder- the same stuff I use for the Irish cream.

If you want, you could use a packet of chili seasoning and omit the chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and probably the hot sauce.  Just don’t omit that cocoa powder!

I served mine topped with shredded cheddar cheese, little bits of green onion, and a side of skillet corn bread with homemade honey butter.

Beer and Cocoa Chili

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 2- 14.5 oz cans peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1- 12 oz can dark beer
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2- 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 T chili powder
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t salt
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 4- 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and stew meat in oil for 10 minutes or until meat is well browned and the onions are tender.  Mix in the tomatoes with juice, beer, coffee, tomato paste, and beef broth.  Season with brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, coriander, salt and hot sauce.  Stir in 2 cans of the beans.  Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1.5 hours.  Stir in the 2 remaining cans of beans and simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.  Serve hot.