Spicy, Slow-Cooked Beef Chili

Things have been crazy busy since I returned to school. Between readings, projects, group meetings, scholarship applications, and whatnot, I feel like I’ve barely had time to cook. To address this, I make big meals on Sunday evening and pack it up into portions that we enjoy throughout the week for lunch and dinner.

One of my go-to favourites is chili. I love chili because it’s hearty, because it’s so versatile, and because I can put it in the slow cooker and come home to a delicious warm meal. I can add just about everything in my pantry and it will still be a yummy chili. Last winter, I made what Bryan calls Texas-style chili. To me, it’s just chili. For the Improv Challenge in August, I made a soup with tomatoes and Anaheim chile peppers, this is more along the lines of what Bryan thinks of as chile. Despite our differing definitions, we both very much enjoy chili (despite that I always slip some chickpeas into the mix, one of Bryan’s least favourite foods, he never complains, what a great guy.).

I went a bit overboard when making chili the other week. I had forgotten just how many servings it makes and added wayyy more herbs and spices than usual. I wanted something different from my usual chili. Unfortunately, our freezer is very full, so there was no rooms to save the leftovers for later. So we ate chili, at least once per day, for nearly a week. Next time, I’ll cut this recipe in half. Or make sure I have plenty of freezer space to save some for another time.

What’s your favourite meal to make in the slow-cooker during the fall months?

Spicy, Slow-Cooked Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 cups beef stock – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 12 ounce can of tomato paste – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, diced and liquid reserved – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup dried white kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 400 grams crimini mushrooms, chopped – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.40
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 tablespoon cumin – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon paprika – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (less if you want to tone down the spiciness) – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup to top each serving) – approximate cost $1.50
  • Baguette (for serving) – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Soak the dried beans.
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    2. Add dried beans.
    3. Let cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Turn the stove off.
    5. Put a lid on the pot.
    6. Remove pot from the burner.
    7. Allow the beans soak for at least 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the beef, garlic, and onion.
    1. Heat the grapeseed oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
    2. Sautee the minced garlic for 1 minute.
    3. Add the onion to the frying pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. or until the onion softens.
    4. Add the stewing beef and cook until browned.
  3. Putting it all together in the slow cooker.
    1. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes (and liquid), chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, Italian Seasoning, cilantro, sea salt, black pepper to the slow cooker first.
    2. Stir well so the flavours mix well with the liquid.
    3. Add the browned stewing beef mixture, soaked beans, crimini mushrooms.
    4. Mix again.
    5. There should be enough liquid to cover the chili. If not, add more beef stock.
    6. Cook at low temperature for about 6 hours (or high temperature for about 4 hours).
  4. Serve topped with shredded cheese and baguette on the side.

Makes about 12 servings (approximate cost: $1.83 per serving).

Monday Link Parties

Photobucket

mop it up mondays


Advertisements

Slow Cooked Texas-Style Chili

I’m going to derive from my original plan to post about Thai food today. Sorry if you were looking forward to it, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m excited and inspired to write about the Texas-style chili I made over the weekend.

Why is it so exciting? Because this is one of my blogging “firsts.” This is the first time that a reader has asked me to post a specific recipe!

Over the weekend I posted a tweet about the chili:

Texas-style chili in the slowcooker for #dinner it seems wrong to have planned comfort food on a beautiful day! #sunny #warm #SundaySupper

One of my Twitter followers responded asking for the recipe!

I served this chili to a group of friends. It went over well for the most part. Unfortunately, one friend turned it down, I didn’t realize he dislikes kidney beans. I felt bad that everyone else enjoyed the chili and he resorted to snacks for dinner. I’ll remember next time. And hopefully I’ll learn to ask about people’s likes/dislikes before showing up with food.

My Texas-Style Chili recipe is constantly changing. It’s adapted from my parent’s recipe and reading a bunch of Southwest-inspired cookbooks.

I’ve divided this recipe into indicate the usual and optional ingredients. I’m including approximate pricing for the items I included in the chili I prepared this weekend.

I hope you enjoy it!

Slow Cooked Texas-Style Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef – approximate cost $4.00
  • 3 cups of dried, mixed beans (at least 2/3 of which are generally red kidney beans with a mixture of garbanzo, white kidney/cannellini, navy, and fava beans) – approximate cost $3.00
    • Alternately, if you can use canned beans (2 cans of red kidney beans and 1 can of bean medley)
  • 1 bottle of beer (alcoholic or non-alcoholic, I used a honey brown this time) – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 can of tomato paste – approximate cost $0.75
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced – approximate cost $0.25
  • 4 tablespoons of chili powder – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (or to taste) – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

Optional ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 3/4 cup of frozen corn (or 1 can)
  • 3/4 cup of frozen green beans (or 1 can)

Optional toppings and sides

  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, and/or colby)
  • Toast (for serving)

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add mixture of dried beans, turn the stove off, put a lid on the pot, and let the beans soak for at least 1 hour (skip this step if you’re using canned beans).
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Sautee the minced garlic for 1 minute.
    1. If you’re adding onion, add it to the frying pan at this point and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  5. Add the chili powder and cumin, cook for about 1 minutes (or until the spices become fragrant).
  6. Add the beer and bring to a boil then cook for about 5 minutes (the liquid should be about half evaporated).
  7. Add the tomato paste and stir into the mixture.
  8. In a large crock pot, combine the meat and spice mixture, beans, diced tomatoes (don’t drain the liquid), salt (to taste), water, and any additional ingredients.
  9. Cook at low temperature for 5-6 hours (or high temperature for 3-4 hours).
  10. Serve as is or with any additional sides and toppings.

Makes about 8 servings (approximate cost: $1.36 per serving + any additional ingredients).

%d bloggers like this: