Chocolate Lamb Chili 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Book Report Oct 9, 2013

Lamb gives this chili a slightly gamy richness. The chocolate smooths the sauce and moves the flavor profile closer to that of a Mexican mole. The ingredient list isn't as daunting as you might think: Everything ends up in the slow-cooker, which should have at least a 5 1/2 quart capacity.

Serve with rice or triangles of warm pita bread.

Make Ahead: The chili needs to cook for 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or 8 to 9 hours on LOW. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Servings: 8

Yield: Makes 11 1/2 cups

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of visible fat and silver skin, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, then cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon adobo
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added beef broth
  • 28 ounces canned, no-salt-added diced tomatoes plus their juices, preferably not fire-roasted
  • 30 to 31 ounces canned, no-salt-added white kidney beans or cannellini (may substitute navy beans)
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro


Combine the chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried thyme, ground cardamom and flour in a small bowl.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in three or four batches, brown the lamb pieces, transferring them to the slow-cooker as they are done.

Add the onions and eggplant to the skillet, stirring to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until lightly browned, then add the garlic and chipotles; cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the adobo and the chili powder-spice mixture. Cook for about 1 minute, then stir in the broth and tomatoes. Cook, stirring a few times, for about 5 minutes.

Transfer to the slow-cooker. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours on HIGH (or 8 to 9 hours on LOW). The lamb should be falling apart. Stir in the beans; cover and cook just until they have warmed through.

Just before serving, add the chocolate and cilantro, stirring until the chocolate melts.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Cooking Slow: Recipes for Slowing Down and Cooking More," by Andrew Schloss (Chronicle, 2013).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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