I know this ingredients list is long, but it does make quite a bit of chili to last you all week. The cocoa may seem like a strange ingredient but it is used in the popular Mexican mole sauce. Serve this chili with Cashew Cream (with an extra teaspoon of cider vinegar), green onions, avocado, cilantro or lime wedges. This recipe makes about 9 cups of chili. Like most stews and soups, this tastes better the next day when all the flavours have mellowed out. To make this recipe gluten free, replace the beer with a gluten free vegetable stock.
Beer and Chocolate Chili With Smoky Sofrito Sauce [Vegan]
Smoky Blended Sofrito (Makes 1.5 cups):
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained and juices reserved for the chili
- 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium red pepper, cored and coarsely chopped
- 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
- 1 medium jalapeno, stem removed and cut lengthwise in half
- 1 tablespoon oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more!)
For the Chili:
- 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (1 cup)
- 1 red pepper, cored and diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper or to taste
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ tablespoon oregano (preferably Mexican)
- ¾ cup Indian Pale Ale or vegetable broth
- 2-28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1-19 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-19 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, minced
For the Sofrito:
- Set oven rack to the middle slot and preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- In a roasting pan, toss all the vegetables with the oil, vinegar and spices until well coated.
- Roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the chili.
- Once the vegetables are softened and slightly charred, add mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Set aside until the chili is ready to be served.
For the Chili:
- Heat the oil in a large 6-8 quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onions, carrots, peppers, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the beer and reduce by half, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, about 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the tomatoes and beans and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the corn and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with suggested toppings.
The sofrito is optional unless you like the heat and then I recommend it. If you don't use it all, it freezes well to use whenever you need a little spice in your recipes.