Chipotle chili


My chili has drawn raves at my church soup suppers for years.  This recipe results in a complex-flavored chili.  The secret ingredient is bittersweet chocolate, which is an important component of Mexican moles.  The chipotle chiles are crucial to giving it smoky heat.  If you don’t like very hot food, don’t leave out the chipotles, instead, substitute mild California chile powder for the hotter New Mexican chile powder.   The flavor gets even better when reheated the next day.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2tsp New Mexico or California chile powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 12-oz bottle beer
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 2 oz square bittersweet chocolate
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Chopped green onions
  • Shredded cheese (sharp)
  • Light sour cream

 In a large non-stick pot, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon.  Unless you are using 92% or leaner ground beef, you won’t need to add any oil to the meat to brown it.  When the meat starts to turn color, add onion and garlic.  Saute until meat loses its red color and has browned slightly.  Add chopped chipotle chiles and chile powder, bay leaf, oregano, cumin and salt.  Stir well and turn heat to high.  Add beer, tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and chocolate.  Stir well.  When the mixture comes to a boil, turn heat to medium low and cover.  Simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.  Adjust seasoning.

 Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro or parsley, green onions, cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Serves 8.

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