Chocolate Stout Chili & Cornbread

The great thing about fall is that there is still wonderful produce available, but it's not too hot to actually cook anything. I generally enjoy cooking autumn and winter dishes more: stews, casseroles, things that cook for a long time over low heat. So, as soon as the weather changed, I was eager to make chili.

There is a lot going on: chocolate stout, jalapenos, chipotle chilies in adobo. Somehow, through the magic of chili, it all becomes this wonderfully cohesive, rich mixture in the end. Plus you get to top it with sour cream and cheddar, and really, what doesn't taste good after being topped with that much full-fat dairy?

Omar gets very impatient when he feels I am not meeting his exacting standards.
On the lighter (ha!) side of the meal, I like to make cornbread. Only it really isn't corn bread, it's corn puddings. Seriously. These little corn-bread muffins are so rich and moist that Martha Stewart calls them puddings. She's not wrong. They are supposed to have corn niblets (like the frozen little pellet-like pieces of corn) in them, but there is something weird about that, so either do it with fresh corn or don't bother putting anything in. Some of the commenters on the recipe page have complained that they are not sweet enough. This is crazy talk. Middle-America, obesity epidemic-type crazy talk. They are plenty sweet.

I love this meal. And I fully encourage adjusting the spiciness with some added Sriracha. Also, use a quality chili powder. It calls for a freakishly large quantity but you can cut back on that if you are using one with actual flavour. You could substitute the beef with ground turkey or tofu, but I can't in good conscience give you my blessing to do so. It just isn't the same without slow-cooked chunks of red meat.

Chocolate Stout Chili
Loosely adapted from Epicurious.
Note: Chilis in Adobo have a really nice smokey flavour, so if that's your thing you can throw extra Adobo Sauce into the Chili. I added some Sriracha to adjust the heat. I used Young's Double Chocolate Stout, but I hear Rogue Chocolate Stout is the best so you might want to give it a try. In a pinch, regular stout and a little cocoa powder I am sure would do the trick.

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
5 pounds stewing beef, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
2 large jalapeño chiles with seeds, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
7 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons (packed) minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
1 12-ounce bottle Chocolate Stout
Sour cream
Chopped green onions
Coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Toast cumin and coriander in skillet over medium heat until darker and beginning to smoke, about 4 minutes. Cool.

Brown beef in batches and set aside. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and jalapeños. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Add the beef to the vegetables. Mix in toasted spices, chili powder, and chipotle chiles. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, and beer. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer at least 45 minutes but longer is better, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and cheese.

Mini Cornbread Puddings
From Martha Stewart.
Makes 24

Butter, room temperature, for pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter 24 mini muffin cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, whisk together egg, sour cream, and corn. Mix with flour mixture just until incorporated (do not overmix).

Dividing evenly, spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until tops have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in pan; turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve, or cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to 2 days.


Rogue Advocate said...

Yum...and indeed Rogue would be a great beer for your recipe... being the face of the beer, i blog about it www.RogueChocolateStout.com One of my 1st posts was about making chocolate stout infused cheddar cheese at the Rogue Creamery in Central Point, OR (they are independent of Rogue Ales/Spirits and we love collaborating). It would be marvelous grated over a chili recipe made with the same beer! I also love cornbread made with beer...Yum!

David Toms said...

Been meaning to say Congartulations!!!!

Laurent said...

You are so right about the meat - flavour, texture, depth, length, and superior responsiveness to the other ingredients. But mainly you still manage that bit of hilarity which compels one to believe every word.