Peanut Butter & Cocoa Chili

2 lb cubed beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 serrano chiles, diced
1 onion, diced
1 shallot, minced
30 oz fire roasted (canned) tomatoes, drained
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Ancho chile
1 1/2 teaspoon Hot New Mexican chili powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon epazote
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Quickly saute the meat and vegetables until the meat is just barely cooked on all sides. Add to a 4 quart slow cooker. Stir. In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, tomatoes and spices. Pour over the meat mixture. Stir to evenly combine. Cook on low 8-10 hrs. Stir prior to serving.

My thoughts:

Peanut butter and cocoa chili sounds, well, nutty, but it really good, I promise! Cocoa and peanut butter are both popular “secret” ingredients in chili so I thought why not combine the two? They add an intriguing flavor that doesn’t shout chocolate! or peanuts! but adds a lot of depth to the chili. The peanut butter also helps thicken the chili which is always a bonus in a slow cooker recipe. Make this for your non peanut-allergic friends and family and have them guess what the secret ingredients are!

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