Smoked tea leaves. Coffee. Chocolate. Roast beef. Those ingredients inspired my brain for this Paleo Smoky Mocha Chili when Hunni mentioned there was gonna be a chili cook off at the club house of our new apartments. Then I thought, “What a great way to meet our new neighbors!” (And a great way to show off them mad Instant Pot and low-carb Whole 30 skills.)
Lapsang Souchong smoked tea is one of my spice cabinet treasures. It adds that barbecued essence and “been slow-smoked in a smokin’ smoker” flavor and fragrance. All without that extra labor of the real-smokin’-deal and sans the chemicals that can be found in that imitation bottled liquid smoke stuff. Its best to obliterate it into dust in your food processor to avoid having its little leaves and stems floating in your food.
Can we talk about coffee and chocolate for a minute, too? Oh my, Honey. When you mix those two properly-bitter antioxidant-rich properties together its grown-up liquid heaven. Now blend that dry java concoction with the aforementioned smoked tea and good ol’ Texas chili spices. Then rub it into a soon-to-be-tender chuck roast and douse it with tomato sauce and poblanos….whew! You’ve got yourself a rich, tangy and spicy umami BBQ mouthbomb, y’all.
What were the results of the chili cook off you ask?? This chili won the “Most Creative Flavor” award. And fifty bucks off our rent. Holla! *happy dance*
Top this with my AIP Nacho “Cheese” Sauce, green onions, pico de gallo, salsa, chopped fresh cilantro, lime juice…you name it. This chili is also sweet potato chip friendly, FYI! Just be sure that if you’re on a Whole 30 currentlly to avoid the “cheese” sauce and the pre-made chips. Best to opt for a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and homemade sliced and roasted tubers to stay compliant.
What are your fave Paleo chili toppers? Please let me know in the comments below!
- DRY RUBBED MEAT
- 3 lb chuck roast, trimmed of silverskin and cut into 3” cubes
- 1.5 Tb Harissa spice blend -or 1 Tb chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, plus cayenne pepper to taste
- 1.5 Tb Lapsang Souchong smoked tea
- 1.5 Tb cocoa powder
- 2 Tb ghee
- CHILI SAUCE
- 1 cup double-strength brewed coffee
- 1 cup beef bone broth
- 13 oz tomato sauce, no sugar added
- 1 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 1.5 Tb ghee
- 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
- 2 large Anaheim chiles, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 medium sweet onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 3 Tb coconut sugar or honey (*substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce for Whole 30) (*omit for keto)
- 1.5 tsp Harissa spice blend
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Himalayan salt (add more if your Harissa blend does not contain salt)
- TOPPINGS (optional)
- lime wedges
- nutritional yeast
- diced onion
- raw cheese (omit for Whole 30)
- sweet potato chips (for Whole 30, use roasted sweet potatoes instead)
- Place 1.5 Tb Harissa, 1.5 Tb smoked tea leaves and 1.5 Tb cocoa powder in a food processor or spice grinder, and process until finely ground.
- Place cubed meat in a large storage bag or container along with dry rub blend and coat very well. Chill for a couple of hours in the fridge (and even for 24 hours) if you have the time to marinate it.
- While the meat is marinating, make the CHILI SAUCE.
- Add all listed sauce ingredients to a blender and puree until very smooth.
- This sauce can be stored in the fridge until you are ready to make the chili.
- Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot, and ADJUST the heat to LESS.
- Once the display reads HOT, add ghee, followed by meat to the pot.
- Use a splatter screen to avoid oil burns and messes.
- Using a pair of tongs, brown meat for about 10 minutes, then press the OFF button. (In a pinch, the browning step can be skipped.)
- Now pour the sauce over the meat, and stir to coat evenly.
- Secure the lid, ensuring the vent is closed.
- Press the MANUAL button.
- Set pressure to HIGH, and set time to 45 minutes.
- Allow program to run, then either safelly quick-release the pressure -or- allow to automatically de-pressurize.
- Shred meat if necessary using two forks.
- Serve topped with your favorite toppings. I love cilantro, limes and raw gruyere!
- For slow cooker: Prepare dry rubbed meat and sauce as noted above. Add marinated meat and sauce to slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or until meat is easily shredded with fork and sauce has thickened.