Serving Up a Bowl of Hub Luv Chili

Today I'm cooking up a little "Hub Luv" chili in honor of fellow hubber Jenubouka. If you don't know her, you must go immediately to her profile page and follow her. In addition to being an awesome hubber and food writer, Jenubouka has worked as a professional chef and has been generous enough to post some of her amazing recipes here.

Jenubouka's recent Hub, Great Beef Recipes For The Frugal Family | How To Cook Cheap Cuts Of Beef, caught my eye. This Hub-of-the-Day-worthy entry provided excellent advice to families seeking more economical choices of meat at the butcher's counter. It included detailed information on cheap cuts of beef, advice on the best way to prepare them, and a couple of recipes to boot. As soon as I read the recipe for Braised Short Ribs, I knew I had to make it. In fact, my comment to the Hub was, "I'm sure I will be making this very soon."

That was Thursday. By Friday, I was at the grocery store hunting down beef short ribs, unsuccessfully, as it turns out. The butcher pointed me to something called "Country Style Ribs," which did not have bones. Jenubouka later explained that the cut comes from the same region of the animal, although without the bones the sauce would be less gelatinous. Bone or no bones, I grabbed a package of ribs and headed back to the kitchen to start cooking.

As Jenubouka cautions in her Hub, the best way to cook cheap beef cuts is low and slow. That means you will need to consider the time when making the recipe. In my case, I had the luxury of time because my husband was out of town on business, getting back late, and I wanted to surprise him with a fabulous dinner when he got home.

And the dinner was fabulous. The ribs were cooked to perfection. But what really made the meal was the sauce. The recipe calls for ground cinnamon and chocolate, which I had never used before in a beef recipe, but I found added layers of flavor that aren't even recognizable as cinnamon and chocolate.

Since I was cooking for two, I was left with a lot of sauce, despite my best efforts to consume as much as I could on the mashed potatoes I served on the side. Not wanting to see any of that savory goodness go to waste (and in the spirit of Jenubouka's frugal living theme), I decided to repurpose it in some way. My mind went immediately to chili. I know chili's been done with chocolate before, although I've never made it that way. So I decided to give it a try. And now I have a new killer chili recipe, thanks to Jenubouka. And to spread around the Hub Luv, I'm sharing it with all of you.

Beef Chili with Jenubouka's Chocolate Sauce

A bowl of Hub Luv Chili
A bowl of Hub Luv Chili | Source


1/2 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

4 cloves roasted garlic, minced (I happened to have some leftover roasted garlic that I used; substitute 2 cloves fresh garlic)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can pinto beans, drained

2 cups Jenubouka's chocolate sauce (see link above for recipe)


Brown ground beef in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir for one minute. Add tomatoes with juices, beans, and chocolate sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Top with grated Colby-jack cheese (optional) and serve with corn bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Additional Reading

Learn how to repurpose a culinary disaster into a delicious meal with When Bad Things Happen to Good Cooks: How to Fix a Bad Dish.

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Comments 27 comments

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Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

You are killing me, Deborah! I bookmarked Jenubouka's beef recipes and was inspired to make some beef chicana from my past in the pool. Which I have on the stove today. Soooooo, I'm bookmarking this, too. Why don't you make it easier for all of us fans and write a cookbook with tales of your cooking and hostessing adventures? Dynamite!!! Voted up and everything else (of course).

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DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Arlene! You have to try the short ribs. I'm so in love with that recipe, I've shared it with all my Facebook friends. And don't think I haven't thought about that cookbook. I actually did one a few years ago that I had printed at the local copy shop and gave to my friends for Christmas with all the recipes from our "Thai Fest" parties. It was the basis for my "Thai One On" hub.

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jenubouka 5 years ago

Much gratitude and appreciation for the awesome mention deb! But your chili idea is by far the real star here. As a professional culinary brat, I love, love to see a recipe transform into another mind's creation as you so brilliantly executed here.

This made my day! To see a fellow foodie as yourself, develop another dish, from another cuisine hallmarks the spark of the latest food trend.

So hat's off to you for setting a new food trend of 2012!

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DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa Author

You are most welcome, jenubouka. And thank you! I'm all about repurposing and recycling, so there was no way I was going to let that yummy leftover sauce go to waste. And now I have a new recipe for my chili challenge in February!

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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

The chili challenge is this Sunday, so I'm making my shopping list now. We're making jenubouka's short ribs on Friday and chili on Saturday. And the new twist is we're using the short rib meat for the protein in the chili. Can't wait to see how this all turns out!

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KDuBarry03 4 years ago

This looks and sounds delicious! Might I add that, maybe, you can also add balsamic-roasted tomatoes to add another kick to the flavor? Sorry, I just absolutely love balsamic!


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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

What a great idea, KDuBarry03! I will try that just as soon as I get some fresh tomatoes in my garden. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Debs, I am just getting back into chilli and I usually cheat and use a packet of seasoning but I would be happy to give this a try next time. I am intrigued by chocolate sauce with chilli, I bet it's yummy!

Voted up n shared!

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Do give it a try, Jools, but make sure to try jenubouka's short rib recipe, too. It's really good!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

I did as you advised and am now following Jenubouka, reading her hubs now, ta!

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Awesome. She's a great writer.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Interesting...chocolate sauce in Chili. I can't do it. I trust you, but I can't. I'm not that daring :)

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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

You wouldn't even know it's chocolate, Sunshine. I'm glad you trust me, though. ; ) Thanks for reading and commenting.

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thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

Chocolate sauce with chili sounds very interesting! I have tasted chocolate sauce at one occasion and I liked it very much. I also like real chocolate with chili so I think this sounds like a perfect combination. I wish that I could be as creative as you in the kitchen but I am glad you share this recipe!


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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Tina. I really do enjoy my kitchen experimentation. Some things turn out great, others not so much. If you know what flavors you like, start combining them in different ways to see what works. You just have to accept that there will be a few misses, but probably a lot more hits. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I can't imagine chilli in chocolate sauce, but I'd be willing to try it, I guess.

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DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Mary. You'd be amazed. It doesn't taste chocolaty at all, but just somehow deeper and richer.

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Ok, this chili sounds amazing and not sure how I missed this one before Deborah. But have now, pinned to try this for my family (we love Chili) and have of course voted, shared, and tweeted too!! Also very lovely and warm tribute here and am now following Jenubouka too.

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks so much, Janine. I've learned so much about cooking and the culinary arts by following Jenubouka. I hope you do, too.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Deborah,

So glad that I ran across this recipe of yours using the sauce from another recipe. Will have to check out that short ribs recipe. My mother used to made delicious short ribs...and they are not always the easiest to find from the butcher as you found out. The cinnamon and chocolate sauce sounds interesting. Will be some new flavors to try. Often I take bits of leftovers from one meal and repurpose them into another creation. LOTS of things end up in my homemade soups. Up, useful, interesting and will share.

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Chili and chocolate sauce?! ? It just might work. Thanks, I will check out

Jenubouka, too. i could use a good chef in my life!

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Peggy and Rebecca. Jen isn't as active on Hubpages these days, which is a shame. I've learned so much from her.

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

This is a great recipe, and I love that you turned leftovers from another Hubber's recipe into another meal! I'm definitely going to try this sometime in the next few weeks.

It is too bad that Jenubouka is no longer on here, though. Thanks for sharing this with us!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

jenubouka's chocolate sauce sounds like it was inspired by mole, what of my favorite flavor cominations. It does make a complex and delicious chili. Our weather is just now starting to get cold so I'm sure we'll be in the mood for chili soon. Thanks!

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa Author

Thanks, Kathryn. I still keep in touch with Jen on Facebook and I know she has a cooking blog in the works. When that's up and running, hopefully I'll be able to link back to her chocolate sauce recipe.

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DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa Author

Vespawoolf, hopefully our chili days are behind us for a few months here in Iowa! Thanks for the comment.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I've never heard of putting chocolate in chili before, but I bet it's delicious. How could anything no be better with chocolate added? Pinned.

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