Chipotle and Chocolate Vegetarian Chili

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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1¾ cups dried pinto (or Sangre de Toro or Rio Zape) beans, soaked overnight or quick-soaked
2 links Field Roast chipotle vegetarian sausages, crumbled
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or organic canola oil
1 large green bell pepper diced
1 large yellow or white onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons hot or mild New Mexico chile powder
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 26-oz carton Pomi chopped tomatoes* (or substitute canned crushed tomatoes)
12-ounce bottle chocolate stout beer
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons molasses (or substitute brown sugar)
1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
Cooked brown rice (optional)
Toppings: Avocado, red onions, cilantro, yogurt or sour cream (soy or regular)


Grind dried chiles in coffee grinder to a fine powder to make chile powders.

Drain the soaked beans, then place in a large saucepan and cover well with fresh cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1 hour, adding water as necessary. Let them sit until you’re ready to use them, then drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the crumbled vegetarian sausages and cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times (it will stick it’s ok). Remove to a plate.

Heat the remaining oil on medium heat in the same pot. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot to incorporate the sausage remnants that stuck to the pan. Add the tomato paste, chili powders, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the tomatoes, beer, espresso powder and brown sugar or molasses. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the reserved vegetarian sausage and beans and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. If the chili seems much too thick, add a little of the bean cooking liquid. Stir in chocolate and lime and turn off the heat.

Serve on cooked brown rice with your toppings of choice, or refrigerate and serve the next day, when it’s even better.