Monday, January 14, 2013

Beef and Bean Chili for the Slow Cooker

Adapted for the slow cooker from Smitten Kitchen. I think chili is especially tasty when prepared in the slow cooker. I also use a pound of dried beans (yes, even though I'm from Texas) in this recipe which needs the long cooking time of the slow cooker to work. Dried beans helps to stretch the chili plus they taste good - especially when cooked with all the spices! The original post includes a recipe for cheddar and sour cream biscuits and I highly recommend them - they're delicious!

2 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 large carrots, sliced thin (suggested by Gourmet) or in a small dice, as I’d chop them next time
3 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chili powder
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano (I use Mexican in my chili)
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (Gourmet suggests 1 tablespoon; I used 1 teaspoon knowing that my flakes are very hot)
4 cups fresh tomato sauce or tomato puree
4 cups beef broth
Water as needed
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 pound dried beans (I've used a variety of beans from Rancho Gordo)
2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • In a large pot heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for one minute more. Remove to slow cooker.
  • Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove to slow cooker.
  • Add the beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, pepper flakes, tomato sauce, broth, bell peppers and vinegar to the slow cooker.  Add water as needed to keep the liquid thin enough to cook the beans. I check the chili throughout the day to make sure there's enough liquid for the beans, adding water as needed. I cook on high for 2 hours and then set to low and cook until the beans are soft.

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