Beef Stew with Chocolate

I added chocolate to stew. Yes I did.

To be fair, chocolate is now a staple addition to chilli, so why not to stew too. Ha, that rhymes.

I didn’t come up with the idea completely on my own. I knew that I wanted to do a savoury chocolate dish for chocolate week, but chilli seemed an obvious choice. So I consulted Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate to gain some inspiration.

beef stew with chocolate 2 - the pink rose bakery

In it there was a recipe for a Grenadian stew, loaded with scotch bonnet chillies and just a little bit of chocolate.

I love stews. I love the fact that you can throw everything into a large cast iron pot, leave it to do its own thing for 3 hours or so and then tuck into a plate of comforting warmth that wants to give you a hug from the inside out.

And this time of year is prime stew season.

beef stew with chocolate 3 - the pink rose bakery

I scaled down the chillies (because I am a wimp when it comes to the fiery red peppers) and added some beans and mushrooms for more flavour (and vegetable content) and chucked in a stock cube or two.

To be honest, you wouldn’t know the chocolate was there if no-one told you. You are not supposed to be able to taste it, it’s there to add an underlying richness to this meaty stew. I know it’s such a small amount that you may wonder why on earth you should bother adding it, but please do.

I’m sure you’ve got a little bit of chocolate hanging around that needs a good home. What better place than this satisfying and hearty pot of goodness.

beef stew with chocolate 1 - the pink rose bakery


Beef Stew with Chocolate

  • Servings: 4 to 6 people
  • Print


  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower
  • 750g beef skirt, or stewing steak or oxtail, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped, use more if you like things hot
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed or grated
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • handful of fresh chives, cut into smallish pieces
  • couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stalks
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 750ml water
  • 6 – 8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, 235g drained weight
  • 6g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole / cast iron pot over a medium heat.
  2. Brown the beef in batches and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, until it starts to go translucent. Then add the chilli, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, chives, thyme, stock cubes, lemon & lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Return the meat to the pan and add the water. Bring to the boil, then cover with a well-fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for approximately 3 hours, until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the mushrooms, beans and chocolate and simmer for a further 15 minutes. If the sauce is a little thin, thicken it was a little cornflour and water.
  6. Serve with rice.

ยฉ The Pink Rose Bakery 2014




19 thoughts on “Beef Stew with Chocolate”

  1. I’ve added cocoa once to my chilli con carne, I wasn’t happy, it was just too much, but I still feel tempted to throw chocolate into a stew. Especially that yours looks so great.


  2. That looks incredible! I am not that surprised by the addition of chocolate – it is a staple in some Mexican recipes and adds a really nice dimension to beef dishes. Love! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare


  3. I had fabulous slow cooked beef cheek in a red wine and chocolate sauce at a restaurant earlier in the year and it was divine, so I imagine this will be lovely too. I love chilli chocolate, and don’t eat mushrooms so might play around with the ingredients as well!


  4. I like the idea of chocolate as the mystery ingredient that no-one identifies but which makes a distinctive taste difference. The only problem would be actually letting go of the chocolate as I added to the stew…..


    1. Fair enough, but it is only a very small amount so you don’t know it’s there. And as it’s dark chocolate it isn’t overly sweet like some chocolate can be.


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