This recipe, a specially requested recipe from a local establishment, in this case, Callier's Home Plate Deli in Ballwin, MO, appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a couple of weeks ago, and can be found here. It appealed to me on a number of levels. First of all, I love chili! Secondly, I am always intrigued by recipes that contain unusual ingredients, and by unusual, I don't mean things like urchin or eel, but an item that usually isn't found in a particular dish. I find that I am always pleasantly surprised by the strange combination. Take for example Chicken with Blackberry-Mustard Cream Sauce. Delicious. (You're welcome, Emma.) Or Glazed Grape Meatloaf. (Glad that you enjoyed it, Bill). Or the exceptionally easy, always tasty, juicy, and delicious Root Beer Pulled Pork. So, somehow, I knew that this chili recipe with its double whammy of cocoa and cola would be good. It was. While it may just look like an ordinary bowl of chili, the depth of flavor that both cola and cocoa give to this dish is something that must be tried in order to be fully understood. What are you waiting for?!
Callier's Seasoned Beef Chili
From Callier’s Home Plate Deli
1½ pounds 80/20 ground beef
10 tablespoons finely chopped onion
7 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
12 ounces cola
5 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3½ teaspoons granulated garlic
3½ teaspoons ground cumin
3 ½ teaspoons salt
1¾ teaspoon chili powder
1¾ teaspoon coriander
1¾ teaspoon black pepper
Scant 1 teaspoon cayenne
9 ounces canned tomato paste
14½ ounces canned diced tomatoes
30 ounces canned dark kidney beans, liquid drained
3 cups water
Grated cheddar or chopped onions, optional
In a large, heavy pot, brown ground beef on medium-high heat, breaking it up as the meat browns. Add onion and green pepper, cook until softened. Deglaze pot with cola, stirring to collect the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in cocoa powder, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, coriander, black pepper, cayenne and tomato paste; bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer; let simmer for 45 minutes. Like many soups, this is best made a day or 2 ahead.
To serve Callier’s Home Plate Deli-style, serve in bowls with oyster crackers and grated cheddar and/or chopped onions on top.
For less heat while still retaining the chili’s rich spices, reduce the black pepper and cayenne.
Yield: 11 (1-cup) servings
CALLIER’S HOME PLATE DELI
14787 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO
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