French-Caribbean Style Chili


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New (improved?) version of my Caribbean Style Chili.

This time, I used ground lamb instead of ground bison. Ground goat would have been more Caribbean, but Wegmans didn’t have any, and I didn’t have time to drive to Thistle Thickets farm, where I get all my goat products, including a wonderful goat milk soap.

I made my own Colombo Powder to replace both the chili powder and the Jamaican Curry Powder. After I made the Colombo, the house smelled heavenly (note to Thistle Thickets: have you considered a Colombo Scented Soap?).

Instead of canned beans, I started from dried black beans. Tweaked a few more ingredients.

Serve with:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Chopped onion
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Shredded Emmentaler cheese or Cheddar
  • Tortilla chips (unsalted) or pasta

Caribbean Style Chili

Makes about 16 servings


  • 1 lb stew beef
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 12 oz beer (I used Sam Adams Summer Ale)
  • 1 cup mango pulp (1/2 package of Goya Fruta frozen mango pulp)
  • Scotch Bonnet peppers (habaneros are acceptable but less flavorful substitutes)
  • 1 can (8 oz) no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6oz) tomato paste
  • 1 large onion, cut in cubes or sliced
  • 1 small tomato, cut in chunks
  • peeled cloves of 1 whole garlic
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp Colombo powder
  • 1 tsp Martiniquan rum (if you can find some — otherwise skip it, other rums are not the comparable)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled


  1. Soak the black beans in 3 cups of water for a total of 8 hours before adding them in step 10.
  2. Set slow cooker on low.
  3. Pour beer into slow cooker. Add mango pulp.
  4. Cut ONE scotch bonnet in 2 or 3 pieces. Remove the seeds (plant them and grow your own plants!)
  5. Brown the stew beef pieces in a skillet, with the scotch bonnet pieces. Remove the beef stew pieces from the skillet and cut them into cubes. Add them to the slow cooker. Save the cooked scotch bonnet pieces.

    Cubed stew beef

    Cubed stew beef

  6. Brown the ground beef and ground lamb in the same pan as the stew beef. Stir the ground meats while browning. Drain the liquid and fat from the skillet. Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Add the ground meat mixture to the slow cooker.
  7. In a food processor, puree the onion, garlic, tomato, and the reserved pepper pieces from step 5. Put the puree into the skillet and stir to pick up all the flavorful beef from the bottom of the skillet. Add the mixture to the crock pot and stir well.

    Onion, garlic, tomato puree

    Onion, garlic, tomato puree

  8. Add the cocoa, cinnamon, colombo powder, and rum. Stir well.
  9. Place the ginger piece and 2 whole uncut scotch bonnets on top and let them float on top of the mixture throughout the cooking.

    Scotch Bonnets and Ginger floating on top of chili.

    Scotch Bonnets and Ginger floating on top of chili.

  10. Cook for about 12 hours on low or 6 hours on high. After 1 hour, stir in the soaked black beans (drained) — removing the scotch bonnets and ginger first and then replacing them on top afterwards, being careful not to break the skins of the scotch bonnets.
  11. Before serving, remove the 2 whole scotch bonnets. Mash them up in a small serving dish. People who like their chili very hot can stir a small amount of the mashed peppers into their chili. A little bit makes a lot of heat.


My homemade Colombo powder

My homemade Colombo powder