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Elk and Bean Chili

Elk and Bean Chili
My father goes hunting in Colorado every year, and always come back with delicious elk meat for me to cook with. This is a great recipe for game meat or beef, whatever is available to you.

Submitted by: Jennifer from Chicago, Illinois
Yield: 8-10 Main Course Servings


Featured in this Recipe


Preparation Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.

Mix in the cocoa powder, half of the chili powder and cumin, and the oregano. Cook 1 minute.

Add the elk (or other meat) and cook until browned, about 7-10 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and honey. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add beans, water, diced green chilies, fresh jalapeño, salt, chipotle, cinnamon and other half of the chili powder and cumin. Bring to boil over high heat and then reduce to medium and simmer uncovered until it thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir often.

Season with salt. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly before serving or refrigerating. You can also freeze it for future use.

More About This Recipe

Assorted toppings go well with this chili: sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, shredded cheeses, diced hot peppers, and shaved bittersweet chocolate.


Based on 5 reviews

Customer Reviews


This recipe was great! For the water I substituted one cup of beer and half cup of water. It was an ipa and it really complimented the dish. And at the end when you add the water and beans I also added a cubed sweet potato which really gave a rich depth and created a sort of chili/stew hybrid. I also used two jalapeños instead of one. This was perfect for a chilly winter day! I already gave most away to greedy friends

Wendy R

I am wondering how smoked meat would go with this recipe. I use honey/cocoa in my chili. For some reason I thought about smoking the meat first. Thoughts?

Brian C

Cocoa helps bring out the flavor more. It’s great.

Chris B

Cocoa (or Baker’s chocolate) and cinnamon are two of the major spices in authentic Cincinnati-style chili. They adds a little different flavor, a little more complexity. This chili tastes different, but has some commonalities in flavor. Cincy chili was created by Greek immigrants, making me wonder if the author of this chili recipe is from the Mediterranean…or from Cincinnati.

betty c

I have never heard of cocoa used in chili, please someone explain what flavoring use this is, I am making elk chili today.

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