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.
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.
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.