Saturday, October 6, 2012

Slow-Cooker Weeknight Chili

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is an all-American recipe for a chili that packs some punch. While it is spicy, it has a depth of flavor to match its heat and I think chili lover's will enjoy it. You can, of course, moderate that heat by using cayenne in amounts more acceptable to your taste and tolerance. The recipe was developed for Cook's Country magazine and, like all their recipes, it works really well, but I think they've given it a misleading name. While the chili does indeed simmer in a slow cooker, all the ingredients used to make it are cooked separately before they are added to the pot. It is not the kind of recipe that devotees of the slow cooker have come to expect. It is also important to note, that the developers at the magazine, warn against cooking the chili for more than 8 hours. They've found that the beef becomes dry and sandy once it passes the 8 hour mark. I personally think 6 hours is plenty. If you make it with the full compliment of cayenne, have sour cream available to help cool the burn. This is a nice chili and I think you will enjoy it. Here's how it is made.

Slow-Cooker Weeknight Chili
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cook's Country magazine

1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces bacon, chopped fine
2 onions, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, chopped medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground chuck
1 (28-ounce)can tomato puree
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (15.5-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed


1) Toast chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, and pepper flakes in large Dutch oven over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer toasted spices to bowl. Add bacon to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels and pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot. Return pot to medium heat, add onions and bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2) Add beef, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, using wooden spoon to break up beef into 1/2-inch pieces, until just slightly pink, about 5 minutes. Drain beef and vegetables in colander.
3) Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and toasted spices to empty pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Return drained beef and vegetable mixture and bacon to pot, stir to combine, and bring to simmer. Transfer contents to slow-cooker insert.
4) Set slow cooker to low, cover, and cook until tender, 6 to 8 hours, stirring in beans during last hour of cooking. (Alternately, cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.) Adjust seasonings and serve. (Leftovers can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for several months). Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Make Ahead: If you’d prefer to just dump the chili ingredients into the slow cooker before running off to work, you can do all the work the night before. Follow the recipe through step 3, but continue to simmer the assembled chili for 10 minutes. Transfer the chili to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, simmer the chili in a Dutch oven for 10 minutes, then transfer it to your slow cooker and proceed with step 4.

One Year Ago Today: Cranberry Mousse

Two Years Ago Today: Chunky Plum and Tomato Chutney

Three Years Ago Today: Creamy Broccoli and Cheddar Soup


Angie's Recipes said...

This looks fanfreakingtastic, Mary! I really NEED to get a slow cooker.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It certainly is chili weather , pun intended:D

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

You're right, it's pretty hard to go wrong with anything from America's Test Kitchens. Their recipes are so thoroughly tested! And you're right about most people expecting a slow cooker to be left unattended for a long period of time. Still -- it looks great and I love a chili with punch.

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This is a meal I would eat every night of the week! It looks so good! blessings for a beautiful weekend my dear. Catherine xo

Velva said...

I have been scratching my head lately looking for a good weeknight chili recipe. I just found it! Thanks. This will be in the slow cooker this week.


CQUEK said...

Looks magical! The photos make me feel like I was there…

Sue/the view from great island said...

I've had chili on the brain all week, and now our weather has dipped a little bit into cooler territory, this is perfect. I like that this one has a few more spices in it besides chili, sounds wonderful!

Silver Strands said...

You know your blog is addicting, right? Look at one recipe, which takes us to last years, and I just keep going and going and going!

Food Jaunts said...

That looks great. It's just started to get cold here in Ohio and I've been ramping up our consumption of chilis, soups and stews.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Hi Mary, I think that's why I like to use my dutch oven because I can do the browning and then I pop it in the oven and use my oven as a slow cooker. I don't like using lots of different pans. Of course, America's Test Kitchen has a staff to do all that!!!!! The chili does sound great, though. I love trying new versions. Thanks for sharing.

Big Dude said...

This looks perfect for the cool, rainy day we're having today.

Sparkly Jules said...


I made your apple bundt cake last night (I can't find it on your blog, now), and it is FABULOUS. I've never made anything bad from your blog, Mary, and why I've been a fan for years.

Thank you!!!


Melinda said...

Sounds like something Ken would like!
Enjoy your Sunday.

M :)

Cindy said...

Always looking for good slow cooker recipes. Hubby does love chili--looks delicious.

France@beyondthepeel said...

Great chili recipe and perfect timing with the cool fall weather settling in. I love a good slow cooker recipe.

Greg said...

This Chili recipe made an amazing pot of chili that I will be enjoying for week-night meals for January. Made it in a Dutch oven and let it simmer on looooooow for 4 hours. I substituted the bacon with 1/2 pound of ground breakfast sausage. Pork rules!
I will make this again.
Thanks Mary!

Greg said...

I love this recipe, Mary! I substituted the bacon with 1/2 pound of ground breakfast sausage and added a bit more heat by mincing some seeded jalepeno peppers and a dash of hot sauce.
Remember,foodies,you can add heat anytime as go, but you can't take it out.
DELICIOUS results!

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