Chocolate, Stout, and Ancho Chili Con Carne

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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3 dried ancho chiles
1/2 cup boiling hot water
500 g minced beef (about a pound)
1 large onion, diced
1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cups passata sauce
1 1/2 cups Guiness stout
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
50 g (about 1 3/4 oz or to taste) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cans spicy refried beans
1 large bunch coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 bay leaf


Toast the dried chiles in a hot pan until fragrant, about 2 mins. Cut the chiles open and remove cores. Reserve the seeds. Place chiles and 1/2 cup of hot water in bowl. Set aside for about 15 mins, until chiles are softened. Blend until smooth.

Heat up a bit of oil in a pan, add onions, stir fry until softened.

Add garlic, fry until fragrant.

Add minced beef, fry until dry and browned (until the meat is frying in its own fats, discard some of the fats if you wish). Break any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.

Mix in all the herbs and spices. Fry until fragrant.

Pour in ancho chile puree, pasata, stout, water, sugar, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix.

Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer for 15 mins, uncovered.

Stir in chocolate, cover and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 hrs (or longer). Remember to stir occasionally making sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Add more water if the sauce is drying out.

Add refried beans and leave to cook for a few more mins.

Season to taste. Add some reserved chile seeds if not spicy enough.

Stir in coriander and enjoy!