Everyone has a favorite chili recipe, and we thought with today being National Bittersweet Chocolate (w/ almonds) Day we would share a rich beefy chili recipe that uses bittersweet chocolate.

bittersweet chocolate chili

Beef and Bean Chili with Bittersweet Chocolate

Yield: 8 – 10 servings


  • Canola oil, or another high heat cooking oil
  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds boneless boneless chuck or sirloin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle lager-style beer
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large cast iron pot, heat a few tablespoons canola oil over medium-high to high heat. Thoroughly pat the beef dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Working in small batches, sear the beef cubes until all sides are deep brown and a dark fond is forming in the pot. Add more canola oil to the pot if it looks like it is starting to burn. Remove the beef to a separate bowl after browning each batch.

Lower the heat to medium. Add a couple more tablespoons of canola oil. Add the onions, and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Pour in the beer to deglaze the pan and remove the fond from the bottom of the pot. Simmer beer for a few minutes.

Add the beef with its juices, tomatoes, chicken stock, chili powder and cumin into the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low/medium low. Soften the chocolate in a small saucepan or the microwave and stir into the chili. Simmer for about 1 hour.

Add the beans and season with sugar, cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue to cook the chili for an additional 30 minutes to an hour, until the beef is very tender and the beans are warm.

Remove from the heat. Bring to room temperature then transfer to the refrigerator. The chili will naturally thicken up as it cools. This chili is best served 1-2 days after cooking. It just keeps getting better and better.

To serve, reheat on medium-low until warm. Serve with sliced green onions, grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream.