Chili (With Chocolate!)

bowl of gluten free chili

to me, winter means chili. imagine: a warm bowl of chili after shoveling the snow in -15 degree (celsius) weather outside. a warm bowl of chili after pulling off your oh-so stiff ski boots and wiggling your toes for the first time in hours. a warm bowl of chili on a lazy couch-potato-afternoon catching up on all the whose line is it anyway? episodes (yes, they are making new ones. no, it’s no longer drew. and yes, it’s still wayne, colin, and ryan +1!!)

nothing beats a bowl of chili to warm your insides when your extremities are just barely frozen and about to fall off. god, I don’t think my body was made for winter. but I do love you canada.

make a big ol’ batch of this so you can freeze the rest for the many other lazy afternoons you’ll have in the following chilly months. and trust me on the chocolate guys, it gives the chili extra depth and richness to warm your soul even further.

omit the ground beef and replace beef stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

enough neutral oil to coat the bottom of your pot
1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet potato, medium diced
2 small carrots, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
1 onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup cooking wine
2 tbsps. guajillo or chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin 
1 can (28 oz. / 796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 (19 oz. / 540 mL) kidney beans, strained and rinsed
1 (19 oz. / 540 mL) hominy, strained and rinsed (optional)
1 1/2 cups beef or vegetable stock
2 tbsps. masa harina
50g dark chocolate
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps. masa harina (or 2 tbsps. corn starch + 4 tbsps. water)
fresh cilantro, chopped
dollop of sour cream (we just had avocado crema on hand for the photo)
grated cheddar

Instructions

Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium-high heat. When it is hot, add enough neutral oil (canola, corn, safflower) to coat the bottom of your pot. Add ground beef.

Sauté beef and break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Heat until liquid has evaporated and the meat has browned.

If the bottom of the pot is a little dry, add more oil. Toss in sweet potato, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes.

Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Deglaze with 1/4 cup of cooking wine. Let the liquid evaporate.

Add chili powder, cumin, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, hominy, and stock. Bring ingredients to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook with the lid slightly open for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Once the stew has simmered, add masa harina (or cornstarch slurry) to thicken the stew. Stir until combined. Turn off heat and finish with chocolate, fish sauce, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar.

Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, grated cheddar, and serve!