Fall Essentials: Dark Secret Autumnal Chili

Andy Anderson !


Okay, about a week ago I posted my recipe for the seasoning I use when making a pot of chili. The other day, I posted my recipe for make-ahead chili meat, and now I am tying them all together with a yummy pot of Autumn Chili.

Serve it up with a bunch of friends on one of those cool evenings where there is just a slight hint of frost in the air.

Good food, great friends, wonderful conversations. What could be better for your heart and soul?

Served this last Sunday... Everyone was happy.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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30 Min
30 Min
Stove Top




  • 4 c
    beef stock, not broth
  • 28 oz
    diced tomatoes, including juice, 1 large can

  • 1 c
    beef stock, cold
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp
    flour, all-purpose variety

  • 3 - 4 slice
    thick bacon, diced
  • 1 medium
    yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 - 4 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    apple-cider vinegar
  • 1
    recipe of do ahead chili meat, link to follow

  • 1 Tbsp
    dehydrated onions, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp
    ground cumin
  • 1/4 oz
    bitter chocolate
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 - 2 pinch
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c
    chili seasoning powder, more on this later
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • ·
    white pepper, freshly ground, to taste

  • ·
    hot sauce, i prefer frank’s
  • ·
    siracha sauce
  • ·
    freshly baked cornbread, and/or crusty bread
  • ·
    shredded cheese, sour cream, onions, whatever
  • ·
    lime wedges
  • ·
    a bowl of red chili beans
  • ·
    lots of tall cold ones

How to Make Fall Essentials: Dark Secret Autumnal Chili


  2. This recipe uses two other recipes of mine. One is for the chili seasoning, and the other is for the meat. You do not have to use them; however, if you do, here they are:

    Autumn/Winter Essentials: Chili, Chili Spice Mix
    Autumn/Winter Essentials: Chili, Chili Spice Mix

    Do Ahead Essentials: Chili Meat in the Freezer
    Do Ahead Essentials: Chili Meat in the Freezer
  3. When it comes to canned tomatoes, there are great, good, and not so good brands. If you are interested in reading more on this fascinating subject, here are two articles I wrote, one that describes the different brands lurking out there, and another that talks about getting canned tomatoes tasting fresh.

    Cooking Class: The Best Canned Tomatoes

    Removing the Bitter Taste from Canned Tomatoes
  4. FYI: When it comes to the tomatoes, I usually can of whole peeled tomatoes, put them into a bowl, and use my hands to squeeze them until they break up.


    Because that is how Aunt Josephine did it.
  5. You will need a big old pot to make this recipe.
  6. The “Dark Secret” to this recipe is the addition of dark chocolate. Which probably is not all that much of a secret to begin with. Just remember, to be careful. Adding to much chocolate (a little goes a long way) can turn your recipe from awesome to awful.
  7. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  8. Add the chopped bacon to a large pot over medium heat.
  9. Cook until the bacon renders its fat but does not crisp, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  10. While the bacon is rendering chop up the onions, and mince the garlic.
  11. Add the onions; along with the garlic, to the pot with the bacon.
  12. Allow them to soften but not brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  13. Add the beef stock tomatoes, and apple cider vinegar, then bring up to a simmer.
  14. Add the recipe of make-ahead beef and stir to combine.
  15. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  16. Whisk together the flour and stock (The Slurry).
  17. Add to the simmering chile and stir into the pot.
  18. Simmer for an additional 25 – 30 minutes, to allow the chili to thicken, and the flavors to blend.
  20. Serve while nice and hot, with some of my suggested side items. Enjoy.
  21. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Fall Essentials: Dark Secret Autumnal Chili

Course/Dish: Chili
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free Soy Free
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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