Main Dish

Short Rib-Black Bean Chili with White Cheddar and Popped Pepitas

Rodney Strong Vineyards

11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg , CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2016
  • RECIPE BY: Chef Tara Wachtel, Rodney Strong Kitchen
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Symmetry, Red Meritage

Caramelized beef short ribs and dark cocoa pair beautifully with our Symmetry, Red Meritage in this warming winter chili.

  • Canola oil as needed
  • 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 large dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut or torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced red onions (small dice)
  • 6 large garlic cloves. thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon toasted and ground coriander
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Lime wedges for serving


Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm canola oil. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Add the ribs to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Pour off the fat and wipe out the pot with a paper towel.

In the same pot, toast the ancho chiles until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and coriander. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Add the stock, maple syrup and cocoa powder to the pot and stir to blend. 

Return the short ribs and any accumulated juices to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the ribs are very tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Remove from the oven and skim the fat off the surface. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and, when they are cool enough to handle, shred the meat with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and stir in the black beans. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons canola oil. Sprinkle in the pepitas and toast until lightly golden and the seeds begin to pop. 

Ladle the chili into bowls and top with the cheese, pepitas and lime wedges.

Rodney Strong Vineyards

11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg , CA 95448