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4 – 6 servings


0 hours 20 mins


1 hours 30 mins


1 hours 50 mins
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3 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul Chipotle Olive Oil, divided
1 Lb. Stew Beef meat (cut into cubes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Red Bell pepper, diced
1 Yellow Bell pepper, diced
1 Orange Bell pepper, diced
1/2 Small onion, diced
1/2 Serrano pepper, finely minced
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul Espresso Dark Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cold brewed coffee (or left over coffee/espresso)
1 15 Oz. Can Crushed tomatoes
2 Heaping Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 1.25 Oz. Package of chili seasoning
1 15 Oz. Can black beans, drained and rinsed
Grated Dark chocolate to finish


Green onions, chopped
Shredded Cheddar
Greek Yogurt and/or Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips


1) Dry your meat with paper towels so that they sear, rather than steam with you are browning the meat. Sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

2) Add a tablespoon of the chipotle olive oil to a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add half the beef and sear over medium high heat until browned on all sides.  About 5 minutes.  Put in a bowl.  Add another tablespoon of the oil and sear the second half of the meat.  Add to the bowl.

3) Add a tablespoon of oil to the same pot and add the chopped peppers and onion. Stir until the vegetables start to soften. About two minutes. Add the chopped garlic and stir into the peppers and cook for about one minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook into the veggies scrapping up the meat and juices from the bottom of the pan and incorporate everything. Cook for about two minutes. Add back the meat and all the accumulated juices in the bowl. Mix into the veggies. Add all the chili seasoning and stir together until fully incorporated into the meat and veggies.

4) Add 1/2 Cup of the cold brewed coffee or left over coffee or espresso. Add in the can of tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir into the mix and bring to a simmer.
5) Add the maple syrup and mix into the chili. Add the beans and stir into the mix. Lower the heat and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is really tender. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
6) Grate the dark chocolate into the chili. Stir to combine.
7) Ladle into shallow bowls or soup bowls and serve with the toppings: chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips.  Serve lime wedges on the side.  Dig in!

NOTES:  This smoky chipotle chili is packed with so many unique flavors that your tastebuds are going to explode with excitement.  From the tender beef and veggies that have been cooked in a chipotle olive oil to the surprise ingredients of espresso balsamic vinegar and cold brew coffee to the final grate of dark chocolate and a touch of maple syrup, you get a spicy and sweet and oh so good bite with every forkful.  This chili has a lot of ingredients and it does cook for almost two hours but it is perfect to make ahead and then just reheat when ready to serve.  It is also great to make for crowds as you can easily double or triple the recipe (just double or triple ingredients).  So, while it takes time, most of that time is passive and allows you to do other things while the chili simmers away.

To get started with this recipe, I like to prep everything before I start cooking.  That means, I’ll dry all the beef with paper towels and season the meat with salt and pepper.  I just set the meat on a plate and let it come to room temperature.  I dry the meat because I want it to get a hard sear on the outside and get nice and crusty.  If the meat is wet, it will steam.  We don’t want that.  I also brown up the meat in batches.  Don’t over crowd the meat in the pot.  Again, you want it to brown, not steam.

Next, I prep all my veggies.  I cut the bell peppers into a dice shape and cut the onion the same way in the same size.  This will ensure that they cook evenly.  I then finely mince my Serrano chili.  A note here:  feel free to use more or less of the pepper.  For me, 1/2 a chili is enough but I have friends that want one and sometimes more in their chili.  I always say, know your audience and adjust based on your heat tolerance.  You can also substitute other hot chili peppers like jalapeño.

Finely mince your two garlic cloves.  Then, I make sure I have all my ingredients ready to go.  Drain and rinse your beans, open the cans of tomatoes and tomato paste.  Have your specialty vinegar and olive oil ready to go.  Now, I use the Espresso Dark Balsamic Vinegar and Chipotle Olive Oil from Patricia and Paul.  I love their products and work with them all the time.  You can purchase them right through the links above.  But, if you don’t have these on hand, feel free to substitute plain olive oil and regular balsamic vinegar.

Let’s get cooking.  Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot.  Once hot, add half the beef and sear on all sides.  Add to a bowl.  Continue with the rest of the beef adding more of the oil as needed.  Once the meat is done, move on to the vegetables.

Add another tablespoon of the chipotle olive oil to the same pot and add all the peppers and onions.  Cook stirring several times until the veggies are softened and fragrant.  Add the garlic and cook another minute stirring occasionally.  Add the balsamic vinegar and scrape up the bottom of the pot getting all those good bits mixed into the veggies.  Add back the beef and all the juices from the bowl.  That’s the good stuff!  Add the package of chili seasoning and mix into the meat and vegetables.  A note on the seasoning:  you can find all kinds of pre-mixed chili seasoning packages at the grocery store.  They come in mild, medium and hot varieties.  You can experiment with them to find your favorite but I used a generic store brand (Ralph’s here in California.) that works just great for me.  I use their Original blend which is medium heat.  You’ll find these packaged seasonings right near the other packages seasoning blends for tacos, fajitas, etc.

Add the half cup of cold brew.  Note:  you can use left over morning coffee or espresso.  I usually have a jug of cold brewed coffee in the fridge so used that for ease.  It is strong and concentrated and I like the flavor but all work just fine.

Add in the tomatoes and the paste and stir into the meat and veggies.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in the maple syrup.  I know, a little bit of a surprise but the sweetness offsets the bitterness of the coffee and just works.  Add your beans.  In this recipe I use black beans but you can substitute kidney beans too.  Stir into the mix.  Bring to a simmer and TASTE, TASTE, TASTE.  Adjust salt if needed.

Lower the heat to low-medium and let simmer 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours for the meat to get really tender.

To finish the chili, I grate some dark chocolate into the chili.  Again, this is an unexpected flavor but not completely new.  Dark chocolate in chili is very common in Mexican cuisine and I now incorporate chocolate and coffee in lots of my dishes.  Chili with coffee is also common so by adding both chocolate and coffee, you get a flavor bomb.   Make sure you are using dark chocolate (70-90% cocoa) and not milk chocolate.  I use Valrhona and buy a block of it at Whole Foods and have it on hand to grate over desserts, cocktails and in some of my savory dishes too.  Grate in 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate, tasting as you go.  It is not sweet.  It just adds a richness to the chili that is amazing.  It also offsets the heat beautifully.

I ladle this up into bowls and top with all the typical toppings.  If I have guests, I’ll set those toppings out in bowls and let my guests serve themselves.  This is such a filling and comforting meal and one this is just an unexpected, delicious bite of food.  Enjoy.

Like this recipe?  Be sure to try some of my other chili and stew type recipes.

Pomegranate Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Easy Healthy Turkey Chili

Chicken Diane

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mushrooms and Onions

Traditional Irish Lamb Stew

Rosemary and Pomegranate Beef Stew

Minnesota Beef Stew