Smoky Short Rib Chili with Chipotle and Cocoa

This chili recipe is the ultimate comfort food for a cold winter day.

This December, we’re going to show you how you can achieve great taste using everyone’s favorite treat: chocolate. This content was created in partnership with Food52.

Is there anything more comforting on a cold, winter night than a big bowl of chili? We love this chili not only for its ability to keep us warm, but also because the recipe has a high yield — which means it can feed a crowd for a casual get-together, and the leftovers can be frozen for future lunches and dinners.

This isn’t your mom’s crockpot chili — it’s amped up with cinnamon, ancho chiles, and cocoa powder. It also eschews ground beef in favor of chunks of short ribs, giving it a richer, deeper flavor.

Here’s how to make it in your own kitchen:
Make a potent spice paste, and then start browning the meat. (Don’t skip this step! You’ll get a lot of flavor from it.) Remove the browned meat, and start sauteing the onion and the tomato paste. Add in the chile purée, some red beans, a big can of fire-roasted tomatoes, and — our secret ingredient — a bottle of stout, and stir to incorporate. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans and beef are fully tender. And don’t forget the garnishes: Stock up on plenty of fresh limes, avocado, cilantro and sour cream. You’ll thank us later.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Whether browning meat on high heat or cooking at a low, slow simmer, an Electrolux induction range gives you the best of both worlds with amazing precision.

Smoky Short Rib Chili with Chipotle and Cocoa

Servings: 6 - 8

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Ingredients

2 dried ancho chiles

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 whole fire-roasted red bell pepper

Kosher or sea salt

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed

Grapeseed or other neutral oil

2 cups diced yellow onion

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste

Two 15-ounce cans red beans

One 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with juice, gently crushed

1 ounce bottle chocolate stout

Juice of one lime

To garnish, optional: cilantro, sour cream, avocado

Instructions

Toast the ancho chiles in a dry skillet until they are fragrant and beginning to soften, then place them in a bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Let soak until they are very soft.

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in the same dry skillet until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add the coarse salt, and grind. Snip off the stems from the soften peppers, then place them and their soaking liquid in a blender, adding the ground coriander/cumin mixture, the cinnamon, the chipotle powder, the cocoa powder, and the roasted bell pepper. Purée until smooth and set aside.

Cut the short ribs into bite-sized chunks and season well with salt. Place about a tablespoon of oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat until shimmering. Brown the short rib pieces in batches, removing them to a plate as you finish browning.

Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Clear a space in the bottom of the pot, add the tomato paste, and cook for a minute until it gets a little caramelized before stirring it through the onion mixture.

Return the short ribs to the pot with any juices that have accumulated on the plate or platter, then add the chile purée, the beans, and the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add the stout and stir to incorporate. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans and beef are fully tender.

Taste for salt and add a bit more if necessary, stir in the fresh lime juice off the heat, then serve with garnishes and plenty of cold beer.

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