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Just a reminder we are continuing in our series of recipes to use up our leftover gourmet coffee and grounds. I figured since the last few recipes have focused on some sweet treats, and since we are still feeling the winter chill, it was the time to bring in coffee chili. This week’s recipe is inspired by a chili creation in The New York Times. And I gotta tell ya, I don’t know who the cooks are over there, but they have never steered me wrong. They even taught me to cook a turkey years ago and I have never deviated from that recipe once! This time around, however, I had to do some fairly serious tweaking because of a little problem we have over here at my house called “heat fear.” This means that all little people think that spicy=inedible. Since you can always throw a little Texas Pete in your own bowl to heat it up, I like to go less on the heat while cooking and bigger on the bold flavors, in this case coffee and chocolate. Not a bad trade off in my mind. If you don’t suffer from heat fear, load up on the cayenne pepper and add a little chili sauce to the mix. And tossing in a can of hominy will give it the perfect texture.

Dark Coffee and Cocoa Chili

Since you can always throw a little Texas Pete in your own bowl to heat it up, I like to go less on the heat while cooking and bigger on the bold flavors, in this case coffee and chocolate. If you don’t suffer from heat fear, load up on the cayenne pepper and add a little chili sauce to the mix. And tossing in a can of hominy will give it the perfect texture.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup strong coffee (preferably a dark roast like French)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 15 oz cans beans of choice (I used pinto)
  • 1 15 oz can white hominy (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add ground beef, onion, and garlic and cook until meat is browned.
  3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, coffee, and tomato paste, stirring to combine.
  4. Add cocoa, sugar, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the beans and hominy if using. I like to pour them in undrained, but that’s just my preference.
  6. Bring to boil and then reduce heat, and simmer covered for 1-2 hours.
  7. It’s best if you can let the chili sit for a bit before reheating to serve. This lets the flavors meld more perfectly, but in a pinch you can serve right away. Add a splash of hot sauce if desired!
Now, go on and make a big pot of dark coffee and cocoa chili to ward off the February chill, and then come back and let me know if you made any special tweaks of your own!]]>