Chili with chocolate and chorizo
I am not sure if this dish will get the love it deserves. It’s not pretty. Definitely not photogenic. And there aren’t any pictures for me to show you how luscious the texture is. How thick and dark it is when plated. What’s more, this is chocolate and meat! Everyone loves these two separately and yet most people will wrinkle their noses and shake their head in disgust at the thought of their pairing. But this doomed couple – I tell you, they make a great pair. You may call me kooky, but I think chocolate has a lot to bring to this marriage. Anyway, I love kooky, and the mole was one of the first dishes on this blog. And I bet being paired with meat makes chocolate feel good too. Who wouldn’t get bored of being slotted?
For all that talk, the chocolate is not really an overpowering presence in this recipe. Rather, it hangs around in the background adding a subtle but definite richness. The result of a whole day of searching for ideas, browsing recipes and building the dish ingredient by ingredient, the chili ended up with plenty of flavour – the sweet richness of the chocolate, smokiness of chorizo, bacon and smoked paprika, tang from the vinegar, heartiness from the beans, depth from the coffee and magic from the anchovies. The one thing I miss here though, is texture and for that I would probably add in chunks of diced meat next time but otherwise, this was pronounced pretty damn good as it is.
One of the reasons there aren’t pretty pics is that this is still a Work in Progress sort of a recipe for me and I want to revisit it one of these days… probably for an enchilada. The other day there was this moment of panic when I I thought about that. Much self flagellation for my laziness followed and then a decision to quickly post it here before I lose it again. And if I did THAT.. then that looong afternoon, where I painstakingly built the dish – tasting, adding, balancing flavours till it reached where I wished it to, that afternoon would never forgive me. What’s more, neither would those who ate it and are hoping for it to show up again on the table one of these days.
- 2T oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 150gm chopped chorizo
- roughly 100 gm chopped bacon
- 500 gms minced lamb/beef
- 2t coriander seeds toasted and roughly pounded
- 1 t chilli flakes
- 4t brown sugar
- 1/4 c vinegar
- 1/4 t coffee
- 85 gm choc
- 1 t oregano
- 1/4 t Cinnamon
- 1 can anchovies
- 1 ancho chili or another thick, unspicey chilli roasted, soaked and then ground
- 1/2 c tomato puree
- 1 t each sweet and smoked paprika
- 1/4 c tom kethchup
- 1 t jalapeño
- 1/3 c kidney beans, soaked overnight and then boiled till soft
1. Heat oil and add the bacon. Cook till the fat is rendered. Ad chorizo and stir fry for another 3-5 minutes till the cubes darken in colour.
2. Add onions and cook till softened and translucent. Now add in the minced meat, coriander and chilli flakes and stir fry till fat separated.
3. Throw in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour and a half till the chilli is thick and the fat is separated. I find that cooking for a long time enhances the flavour of this dish. If along the way, the chilli seems to be drying up or getting far too thick, feel free to add in some stock or water till the chilli loosens up. By the time its done, you will see some flat beading on the edges of your dish and the chilli will be dark, thick and just pourable.
4. Check for seasoning and adjust as required.
If you like the chilli to be spicier, add more jalapeño or chilli flakes. For more tang you could increase the vinegar.
PS: The next time I would also want to add about 400 grams or so of cubed lamb or beef meat to the chilli along with the bacon and chorizo and let that brown before proceeding.. for texture. I am guessing this will necessitate an increase in the flavourings and liquid so will need to work that out. If you are game, please give it a shot and let me know how that went… will include your insights in my next experiment