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Mole-Style Brisket Chili

Cook Time:
2 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

A dish that combines grass-fed beef and dark chocolate? If heaven exists, believe you me, this is being served at the buffet. This beef-based chili draws from classic Tex-Mex flavors as well as the traditional flavors of Mexican mole, made with chiles and chocolate, for a rich, savory flavor that's perfect on a cool winter evening, at a tailgate, or whenever you need a bowl of something warm and cozy.

Technique tip: Slow and steady wins the race with this one. I love to prepare this on a Sunday afternoon, let it cook all afternoon and then have friends and family over for a big Sunday dinner.

Swap option: I am a big accoutrements guy — love them! This recipe is fun because you can play around with the toppings. Add a grass fed cotija cheese or maybe pickle the jalapeños. Add lime juice. Add avocado or — if you're feeling fancy — make an avocado crema. The options are endless!


  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 2 pounds beef brisket, diced
  • 1 head garlic, cloves diced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro stems
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef or chicken bone broth
  • 1/4 cup minced sugar-free bittersweet chocolate (preferably Mexican chocolate)
  • plain unsweetened coconut yogurt, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • sliced jalapeños, for garnish
  • pickled onions, for garnish



Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles, then break into small pieces into a small bowl. Add the dried mushrooms and boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and brisket and cook until the brisket is browned and the onions are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro stems, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chile powder, cumin, oregano and salt, and cook for an additional minute. Add the dried chile puree, fire-roasted tomatoes and bone broth to the mixture, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until the beef is fall-apart tender, and the chili is nice and thick.


Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir to melt it in. Taste and add salt as needed; if it's too spicy, add more bone broth or coconut yogurt to tone down the heat.


Serve with the cilantro leaves, coconut yogurt, jalapeños and pickled onion.