Cocoa Beef Chili

Cocoa Beef Chili | Paleo, Gluten Free, Low Carb by Strive to Thrive Nutrition

Ever since reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I vowed to eat only grass-fed beef. Cows are not meant to eat and digest corn. Doing so makes them incredibly ill, which is why most of the cattle raised in this country is pumped with antibiotics and hormones. I’m not about to become a vegetarian– I love meat and animal products contain necessary nutrition– but I definitely have a problem with making animals suffer.

While I do think it’s totally worth it to invest a little more in your food to prevent disease and the expense of health care, I also understand that most of us have a budget to stick to each month. If, like me, you want to make sure you’re eating quality meat, ground beef is an affordable way to go. We buy ours at our local farmers market, with the added bonus that our rancher grinds organ meats in for a nutritional boost that you can’t taste at all. We always have several pounds of it stashed in the freezer, so I’m often looking for new recipes to transform ground beef into a new taste experience beyond your typical hamburger.

cocoa beef chili

At this point, I’ve tried pretty much a kajillion different chili recipes, and this Cocoa Beef Chili is hands down the winner. It’s quick to put together, full of rich flavor, and the perfect hearty bowl of comfort. I can’t take full credit for it. The original recipe is from one of my favorite paleo cookbooks, Well Fed. Over the years, I’ve made a few additions and adjustments to make this my ultimate pot of chili. And before you balk at the idea of putting chocolate in your chili, trust me– the cocoa powder makes this recipe.

cocoa beef chili closeup

If you’re having trouble finding grass-fed beef at your local store or farmers market, U.S. Wellness Meats is a great online source for not only beef, but also buffalo, lamp, pork, poultry and fish.

Print Recipe
Cocoa Beef Chili
Adapted from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan
Cocoa Beef Chili | Paleo, Gluten Free, Low Carb by Strive to Thrive Nutrition
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef grass-fed
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef grass-fed
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Cocoa Beef Chili | Paleo, Gluten Free, Low Carb by Strive to Thrive Nutrition
Instructions
  1. Add 2 Tbsp cooking fat (coconut oil, lard, etc) to a large stockpot. Warm over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are somewhat translucent and softened.
  3. Add the mushrooms. Saute until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add the ground beef. Stir the meat as it cooks to break it apart. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add all the spices to the pot, stirring well to distribute.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add the fire roasted tomatoes and stock. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot with a lid, and let cook for 1-2 hours.
  9. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Taste and add salt if needed.
  10. Serve with your favorite chili toppings. Enjoy!
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