I have two weeks left in San Francisco, so I'm in "use-up" mode in the kitchen. I'd like to leave as little food behind as possible Tonight's secret ingredients were chili powder and cocoa powder. Behold!
Saute chopped onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat while you are opening cans. When the vegetables are soft, add 1/3 cup each of chili and cocoa powders (approximate), 2 tsp of cinnamon, a can of crushed pineapple (juice-packed), 2 large cans of diced tomatoes (with juice), and two cans of tomato paste. Stir it all together and let it simmer over medium heat while you prep the meat.
I cut the bones out of 2.3 pounds of beef shanks and threw the bones in to simmer while I cut up the meat (about 1/2 inch cubes). Throw the meat in, stir it all together, turn it down to low, cover, and walk away for an hour.
When you come back, remove the bones, scoop out the marrow, and stir it back into the chili. Then dish out! I've tried cocoa chili and pineapple chili before, but this was the first time I combined the two. A 1:1 ratio of cocoa:chili powder gives the meal a deep, rich flavor. The pineapple adds sweetness, obviously. The net result when you combine them is a very chocolatey flavor without feeling like you are eating a candy bar. It is also very thick, because the only liquid you add comes out of the tomato and pineapple cans (I love thick stews and chilis).
If I had access to a crockpot, I would saute the onions and peppers, throw those into the crock, add everything else to the crock, stir, and cook all day on low. I think that would evolve it to straight-up awesome. This isn't spicy, but if you want more heat, I suggest a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I should have grabbed a can of those at the store today, but I can try that next time.
Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html