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Game day recipe: Chili con carne with cocoa

Sweet and spicy and a little bit boozy? Sounds like a winning game day recipe to us!

Photo courtesy of Melissa Joulwan

Food and football go hand in hand, which is why we're asking Patriots fans everywhere to share their favorite recipes. Together with Dannon, we're selecting a weekly winner and giving away a special tailgating prize pack.

This week it goes to Melissa Joulwan of White River Junction, Vt. She submitted a recipe for chili that has a little twist: chocolate.

"Cocoa powder makes the chili rich and smooth, and the dark cocoa flavor highlights the spiciness of the chili powder," Melissa told us.

To boost the chili's flavor even more, she suggests adding some of your favorite beer.

Sweet and spicy and a little bit boozy? Sounds like a winning game day recipe to us!

Submit your best tailgate treats for a chance to be featured on and take home a prize pack complete with a cooler, grill set and knit hat.

Chili con Carne with Cocoa Recipe


2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups plus extra for topping)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tsp.)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
2 cups chicken or beef broth
1 cup water or beer

Heat the oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook until they're translucent, about 7 to10 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it's fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine.

Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it's no longer pink.

In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork. Stir in spice mixture. Then add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with juice, beef broth, and water or beer to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for at least two hours.

Serve with diced onions and avocado on top.

Have a game day dish that's a hit with your hungry crowd? Send it in for your chance to win a Patriots tailgating prize pack.

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