Super Bowl Black Bean Chili

posted on: February 4, 2013

The Super Bowl is one of the American events I usually watch and turn into a party.  After all, my children’s father played professional football, and my son was the senior running back when his high school won the Division 1 state championship and played in a minor bowl game during his college years before quitting football.  I spent years first as a football wife, then a football mother.  This year, the coach of one of the teams had been my son’s coach during his peewee football years.

So I spent the morning making Super Bowl Chili for members of my family who were in town.  Here’s my recipe:


First rinse, drain and soak 2 cups of black beans overnight. The next morning, drain the water, put the beans in a pot and add water to cover, an onion pierced in several places with cloves, a carrot, a few peeled garlic cloves and a bay leaf.  Bring to boil then simmer for 1- ½ hours until tender. Turn off the heat and salt to taste. Then let cool.

Meanwhile sauté (use oil spray if you want to keep it lo fat) a huge onion, more garlic, a sweet red pepper, and a variety of hot peppers. Add a few chopped fresh tomatoes.  Add cumin, paprika, salt, fresh ground pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper. Taste as you go.  You know how spicy your family likes food. Put the sautéed veggies in a soup pot and add 2 large cans of oven roasted chopped tomatoes, some beef broth, and a bay leaf.

Bring to boil and let simmer.  After about a ½ hour, add some red wine, (about ½ – 1 cup), some molasses (about a ¼-1/2 cup).  Cilantro, ( or parsley if you hate cilantro.) More broth, water or wine if you think it needs it.

Now here’s the secret ingredient.


Drum roll

Cocoa powder!

 Yep, 2- 3 T. of powdered cocoa – the kind you can use to make cocoa.

If you want to add meat, sauté a pound of ground turkey. Season the turkey with the same seasonings.By now, the beans should be cool. Drain them and put them in the pot, bring it back up to a simmer and then add the ground turkey. Turn it down very low, and partially cover. Stir every half hour or so. Check the seasonings.

When you’re ready to serve, grate some cheddar cheese for the top of each bowl if you wish. And/or sprinkle with more cilantro.

When the game lights went out, I texted with several people. My son said his old coach as the same energy and amazing love for the game he had when they were both several decades younger, but the game looked grim.  A friend asked how the chili turned out? So I texted, “It was the best chili EVER!! Added a little cocoa to it. That’s the secret ingredient” and sent a picture.

I commented, “The spoon is my Mom’s. About 60 years old with a melted Bakelite handle.”

“Cocoa? If it tastes as good as it looks you did a fine job. 🙂 Maybe the spoon is the secret ingredient,”  he texted.

Maybe he’s right.

You have to try the recipe out with your own favorite spoon and let me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *