Mexican-Style Beef and Bean Chili

Channel the flavors of mole into this meaty chili with cinnamon and cocoa powder.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6-8
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8 ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds)

4 cloves unpeeled garlic

2 poblano chiles

1 onion, quartered

1 serrano chile

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

One 3-pound piece beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

One 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably Mexican lager-style

Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

Diced avocado, shredded red cabbage, cilantro leaves, Cotija cheese and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven broiler.
  2. Spread the tomatoes, garlic, poblanos, onion, and Serrano chile out on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, flipping until charred on all sides, about 3 minutes for the garlic and 10 minutes for the rest of the vegetables. Cool slightly and then core the tomatoes, stem the chiles and peel the garlic. Transfer all of the charred vegetables to a blender and pulse into coarse sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over high heat. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and working in batches, add the beef the oil and cook until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a large plate as it is browned.
  4. Add the chili powder, cumin, flour, oregano, chipotle powder and cinnamon to the pan drippings and whisk to make a paste. Stir in the beer and 2 cups water. Return the meat to the Dutch oven along with the collected juices, the tomato-pepper mixture and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans bring back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick, about 1 1/2 hours more. Stir in the cocoa powder and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Serve with diced avocado, shredded red cabbage, cilantro leaves, Cotija cheese and lime wedges.
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