black bean & espresso chili

I never thought I would do a post about chili. I mean, where was the need, really? There are so many chili recipes out there and picking a favourite is a matter of preference (beans or no beans? vegetable-heavy and chunky or smooth?), but then I came across a recipe that moved me to make chili using a recipe. I’ve heard of adding a little coffee, even beer to deepen the flavour of chili but adding 1/4c of espresso powder seemed bold. And then there was the visual that the title evoked. A black bean (only) espresso chili was going to look pretty serious too, I imagined.

I was satisfied on all fronts. The look, the aromas and the flavour–this deep, dark chili is my new go-to. I didn’t add chocolate, as the notes suggest you can for a mole-like chili. Maybe next time. Or maybe I’ll never want to stray from exactly the bowl I ended up with my very first time.

Black Bean and Espresso Chili
(via Bon Appétit)

1/2 cup olive oil
5 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup dried oregano leaves
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/3 cup honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
7 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or chili powder
Large pinch of ground cinnamon

Assorted toppings: sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, and shaved bittersweet chocolate

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in espresso powder, 1/4 cup chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook 1 minute. Mix in tomatoes, honey, and garlic. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beans, 2 cups water, salt, chipotle chili powder, and cinnamon. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

Place toppings in individual condiment bowls. Ladle chili into bowl and serve toppings alongside.

Makes 8 servings