TGRWT #13: Chili Mole

Round 13 of TGRWT is Chocolate and Caraway. For various reasons, including the fact that I had recently made Chili, I thought that a Caraway Cocoa Chili would be an interesting. caraway_chili_mole1.jpg

Every step of the dish was on the precipice of disaster. I thought that there was way too much caraway, so I compensated with a lot of cocoa, and suddenly I had a mole. Hurray!

There was far more chili powder than I could process at once in the blender, so after a bit of an optimistic time overfilling it, I had to redistribute the powdered and unaffected bits of chiles, eventually combining them together once everything was particulated.

I went to open the beer and it started foaming everywhere so it spilled all over the kitchen. It took me 30 minutes to discover where the bottle cap disappeared to.

Still, after all is said and done, the chili turned out great, and even got my wife's approval. She couldn't taste the caraway individually, but thought all the flavors were balanced quite well. I could certainly taste the caraway, as I had worked with it recently, and it definitely adds a new note to the chili. Probably some sesame would have rounded it out nicely.


  • Chili Powder

    • 3.7 oz. Cumin Seeds, whole, toasted

    • 2.2 oz. Caraway Seeds, whole, toasted

    • 1.5 oz. New Mexico Chile, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

    • 1.5 oz. Guajillo Chile, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

    • 6 oz. Pajillo Chile, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

    • 1.5 oz. Chipotle Grande Chile, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

    • .5 oz. Garlic Powder

    • .5 oz. Cumin Powder

    • 2.2 oz. Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened

  • Chili

    • 750 ml Beer

    • 30 oz. Tomato Sauce

    • 2 oz. Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened

    • ½ cup Chili Powder

    • ½ cup Masa

    • 2 lb. Lamb, 1" Cubes

    • 1 lb. Beef Chuck, 1" Cubes

    • ¼ cup Vegetable oil

    • 4 medium shallots, sliced

    • Salt, To taste

  • Topping

    • Crème Fraiche


For the chili powder:
In a dry pan, toast the chiles and seeds and let cool. In batches, process the chiles and seeds in a blender until powdered. Combine with the other powders and set aside.

For the chili:
Toss the meat in half of the vegetable oil to coat. Season liberally with salt. In batches, brown each side in a scorchingly hot dutch oven. Don't catch anything on fire. Set aside.

Either in a separate pan or letting the dutch oven cool a bit, sofrito the shallots.

Pour the beer into the dutch oven, turn up to high, and deglaze the pan. Add the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 1-1.5 hours.

Season with salt.

Top with the crème fraiche.

This makes faaaar more chili powder than you'll need for the actual chili. Feel free to cut back significantly or, as I do, jar it up to use later or give away.

The beer I used was Mandrin au Sapin. Feel free to use whatever beer makes you happiest.

This is not a proper mole. I know this because I really don't know how to make a mole, but I know it's a sauce with chocolate, and so I called it a mole. I believe a proper mole has more fat in it.