Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chunky Mole Beef Chili

I found this recipe in a small recipe book at the store, called Canadian Living New Slow Cooker Classics. I love our slow cooker, so I picked up a copy. The first recipe out of the book to try, I thought, was the Chunky Mole Beef Chili. Before I get to the actual nuts and bolts of it, let me tell you a little about Mole sauce. It's pronounced [ˈmole]) Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl mulli or molli, "sauce" or "concoction") Modern mole bears little resemblance to it's historical roots. In pre-hispanic times, chocolate was a beverage among the mesoamericans, and not included in their pepper sauces, called "mulli" Different mole sauces varied widely by region and availability of ingredients, and they could contain pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, garlic, onion, cinnamon and chocolate.

I thought that a big selling point around here would be the chocolate content, so I gave the recipe a try, but I had to leave out a few of the peppers for this crowd. Here is the recipe as it is in the book.
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1" cubes
2 sweet bell peppers
2 onions, diced
1 cup sodium reduced beef broth
1 cup bottled tomatoes (I used canned)
1 can tomato paste
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
1 tbsp liquid honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

In slow cooker, combine beef, red peppers, onions, beef broth, strained tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin and coriander.

Cover and cook on low until beef is tender, 8-10 hours.

Stir in honey, salt and chocolate until chocolate is melted.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on bowl size.

Now, a few words of caution here. Don't cut corners on this recipe. I had to omit the jalapeno and  chipotle peppers, due to a few non-pepper eaters here. I figured I could use whatever chocolate I had a round the house. You can't. The chocolate I had was sweetned, and combined with the honey and cinnamon, it turned out to be too sweet for at least one member of the family. The rest of us judged it to be somewhere between "pretty good" to "too sweet, cut back on the cinnamon"

When I do this again, I will not cut out the peppers (the non-pepper eaters will be offered a different choice), I will cut back the cinnamon to 1 tsp. and the honey from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon. That should solve the sweetness issue.

I was wondering how this recipe would taste with chicken instead of beef. I'll have to give that a try in the future.

Have you tried this recipe before? Curious enough to try it  some day?
I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it!

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