I was working on a competition chili recipe for a contest at my country club (that ended up getting cancelled) and really came up with something good. I like my chili but always felt it was missing something. My recipe always relied on good chili powder from penzy's mixed with gebhart chili powder + cumin but something was missing. On a whim, I tried unsweetened cocoa powder. It really filled the gaps in the flavor profile and really complimented the flavors of the chili and cumin. Here is a loose recipe of what I did
3lbs brisket (uncooked. I do not like pre-smoked meat in my chili) cubed 1/4 inch
2lbs pork butt, cubed to 1/4"
Meat was lightly seasoned with Big Ron's chili mix.
Brown the meat in bacon fat in a large skillet. In a large pot, I saute one copped onion and 2 or 3 fine chopped jalepenos inn olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, I add chopped garlic (8 cloves or so). Once the garlic changes color, I turn heat to low and add one can of tomato paste and saute until the tomato past starts to darken a bit. Then I add 2 dark beers (Spaten Octoberfest) to mix. At this point, I put the meat in and filled with beef broth until the liquid is about an inch or so over the meat. At this time, I toss inn my first spice dump, which is:
2 tbs Gebhart Chili Powder
1 tbs Penzy's Ancho Chili Powder
3 tbs Fiesta Brand Pinto Bean Seasoning
1 tbs cumin
1tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp mexican oregano
2 tbs Wylers chicken bouillon crystals
1 tbs Wylers beef bouillon crystals
1 packet sauzon Goya (msg - I used the achiote flavor)
1 tbs brown sugar
salt to taste
I simmered for a couple of hours at low medium covered. Keep testing the meat. As soon as the meat begins to get tender, I would make my second spice dump, which was:
1 tbs Penzys ancho chili powder
1 tbs Penzys medium chili powder
1 tbs granulated garlic
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
brown sugar to taste (use to balance the flavors, you do not want your chili sweet)
salt to taste
cayenne to reach desired heat level
Simmer for another 30 minutes. Depending on the state of the chili, now is when you want to thicken. There are a couple ways to do this. I use tortilla crumbs because they are available. They give the chili an earthy taste. you can also use corn masa mixed with hot water. There is a cheat used by competition cooks. They take a can of Ranch Style beans and run them through a food processor then add to the chili. I have done this and continue to do this when the chili is too watery. This also helps round out the flavors.
This is the best chili I have ever made and will be make like this from now on. The unsweetened cocoa really helped out. I strongly suggest you guys try it. Also, I used brisket. I have been using chuck or eye of round roasts cut inn 1/4" pieces. Brisket is better. Also, it is important to use some pork too. Just helps with the overall flavor.
The chili is ready when the meat is close to breaking apart. You still want the chunks intact, but very tender.
Primo Oval XL, BPS drum, Weber gasser