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his chili can be made in advance and will taste even better the second day.

It also freezes well.

1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced
2-4 tablespoons chili powder (to taste)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon sugar
30 oz. tomato sauce
2 lbs diced fresh tomatoes, or 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
16oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

16oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
16oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, corn chips, onion, sour cream, hot sauce

Image courtesy of Julie Armstrong Holetz.
Image courtesy of Samantha Roshak.

Vary the amount of chili powder to get the level of spiciness you prefer. 2 tablespoons is pretty mild and kid friendly, 3 is medium, and 4 is spicy. If you like super spicy chili, try adding a tablespoon of red pepper or hot sauce.

Brown ground beef in large pot or Dutch oven. Drain fat and set aside.

Add oil to the pot and sauté onion and celery over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in chili powder (see note), cumin and cocoa powder. Stir over heat until vegetables are coated and spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Turn heat to simmer and mix in all remaining ingredients except toppings. Cover and let simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can continue to simmer up to two hours, which will increase the flavor.

Serve with toppings on the side.

Samantha lives in the Seattle area and spends most of her days knitting, writing, designing and trying to keep up with her family and friends. Read more about her adventures, and find her patterns, on her blog:

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I'm wondering if I use grated Mexican cocoa for the cocoa powder how it would go.....
- Carrie M, 2010-03-29 11:54:22

Oh yummy! I think I'm gonna make this for dinner!
- Mara P, 2010-03-18 01:57:23

Not a beef-eater, me, but the addition of a wee bit of cinnamon during the cooking and cilantro as a topping would make this a stellar chili, indeed!
- carol b, 2010-03-01 07:51:12

This sounds amazing - I'm off to try & track down some espresso powder...
- Jill W, 2010-03-01 03:05:23

Oh yummy... may have to fry up some burger in the morning and throw it all in the slow cooker for the day because I will use dry beans, sounds wonderful! Thanks ... Micki
- Micki W, 2010-03-01 01:09:15

Been looking for a good recipe for the potluck coming up this Friday. This looks like just the ticket. Thanks! Libby
- Libby N, 2010-03-01 12:37:56

This sounds delicious!
- Karli A, 2010-02-25 06:13:42

I've tried this one and loved it! (To be honest: It was the first chili receipe that I really tried on my own!) At first I was a little worried that the espresso powder might be too much but then ended up adding even more than the receipe calls for. Totally recommended!
- Sabine P, 2010-02-08 10:52:34

This has become my go-to chili recipe. It has a perfect blend of spices and flavors, and isn't too hot for the spice wimps (me!). Sometimes I add a little cinnamon and substitute garbanzo beans for the pinto beans. Thanks for sharing!
- Kelley L, 2010-02-03 01:50:19

I tried this recipe as soon as it was published and it was very yummy. It tastes just like a chili in mole sauce. A+.
- Julie H, 2009-10-17 06:39:40

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