Cocoa and cinnamon perfect ingredients for a tasty chili

Savory Beef Chili

Savory Beef Chili

We had just come back from a wonderful weekend in Orange Beach, Alabama with friends Paul and Rachel and I suddenly realized that it was almost time for the Super Bowl. I make a new chili recipe each year for Super Bowl Sunday. I was pressed for time so I turned to a favorite chili recipe book for some ideas.

The Real Chili Cookbook by Marjie Lambert is packed with meat only chili recipes, chili with beans, untraditional chilis, vegetarian chilis and more. After reading several recipes I chose a recipe that I actually prepared back in 2011 called Savory Beef Chili that I mentioned in a post about our neighborhood’s annual Torrey Pines Butt Kicking Chili Contest.

That year my wonderful neighbor Bob Kessler won the contest. When asked what recipe he used Bob replied, “This is not a real recipe that I picked up from a book. It is just something I just thought of off the top of my head.  I just kept putting it together and I kept tasting it as I went along”.

So, I decided to post this recipe. The recipe sounded yummy and very easy to make so into the kitchen I went.  I had all the ingredients in the house so no shopping needed.

Savory Beef Chili


IMG_1177b3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 pounds beef, cubed

1 ½ onions, chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

½ green pepper, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

12-ounce bottle beer

8-ounce can tomato sauce

2 jalapeño chiles, unseeded, minced

2 bay leaves

3 Tbsp. commercial chili powder

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. lime juice

at least ½ tsp. Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

1-2 tsp. salt



*Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet and cook the beef until browned. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and discard the greasy cooking liquids.  Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic 5 minutes.

*Put the beef and vegetables in a large saucepan with the beer, tomato sauce, and 2 cups of water. Add jalapeños, bay leaves, chili powder, cocoa, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the beef is tender, at least 1 ½ hours.  Stir occasionally and add water if needed.

*Add the lime juice and Tabasco sauce and cook 5 minutes. Add salt, taste, and adjust seasonings.

The recipe called for 2 pounds of beef but did not suggest what cut. I had two pounds of stew beef in the freezer so used it for the chili.

The recipe was indeed easy to put together and then it just sat on the stove slowly simmering and releasing the aroma of chocolate and cinnamon into the air. Randy came into the kitchen asking what was cooking because it smelled so good and I told him I was making a chili that would be delicious.  He said, “I can’t wait”.

I used Tabasco sauce.  The Tabasco created a nice smoky flavor but there was little heat in the chili.  Now, that normally is a plus for Randy but even he mentioned that the chili was not very hot.  The next time I make this chili I will either add more Tabasco sauce or use hot pepper sauce.

IMG_1189bI have over the years prepared many chilis and have my favorites. One of my favorite chilis also won a trophy at the neighborhood’s Butt Kicking’ Chili Cook-off in 2012.  The chili was created by Brian Partin and entered into the contest by his parents Jack and Diane Partin called Chili with chocolate and coffee.  It was so yummy!  Then there was a chili that my son-in-law prepared that I just loved and had to have.  He had searched for chili recipes on the internet and got a feel for the basic ingredients for a good chili and created a chili I called Smokin’ Texas Chili by Roger Campbell.  That year I prepared this perfect topper for hot dogs for our Fourth of July celebration.

I am always looking for delicious chili recipes. Have one?  Pass it along and I will give it a try.

No matter which team you are cheering for on Super Bowl Sunday have a great time.



This entry was posted in Chili, Cookbook, Food, Recipe and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Cocoa and cinnamon perfect ingredients for a tasty chili

  1. Genny says:

    What — no white/chicken chili?!?!?!

  2. helffrich says:

    Sounds delicious. I would probably use hot chili powder.

  3. Randy says:

    If she had used the HOT chili powder, I would not have been able to eat it. The way it was, was just fine and the heat enough to give it the flavor of chili like I like it.

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