Bring on the Chili with Cacao Nibs

Another Great Chocolate Dish!

The first foray into cooking with chocolate, I made a beef stew, flavored with some of the chocolate we make. Though I found it exceedingly satisfying and delicious, I could see how others might not enjoy the richness and sweet undertones. Maybe I’m biased because I made it and I’m very motivated to have success cooking with chocolate. Or maybe it was really wonderful, but was sharing it with people who hadn’t the taste for it. Either way, I decided to try something that may be more of a crowd pleaser.

I used small chunks of stew meat and ground pork for the meaty part of the dish. The cacao works well against heartier elements. I cheated a little and used the chili seasoning packets, to get the right mix of flavors. I also added the requisite tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and let it simmer on low for a couple of hours. Since I’m more of a cook by feeling rather than strict measurement, I put about 2 handfuls of cacao nibs in the pot as it simmered. Cacao is kind of hard, so if you don’t want a crunch in your dish, cook to break it down.

This dish was a winner! The cacao added a really interesting element without being overpowering. Without sugar, cacao can be bitter, but combined with other intense flavors, no bitterness was detected. There were bits of nib which had not broken down, but they were soft and added another texture to the complex dish. This would also be great as a vegetarian chili.

We are selling nibs now in 1 lb. packages. Use these in sweet or savory meals, as well as add them to smoothies, baking, or other healthy treats.

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