Chef Daddy Makes Slow Cooker Chili for the Big Game
January 21, 2012Posted by andrew |
The NFC playoffs are coming up tomorrow, and of course you'll need something to eat while you watch the 49ers demolish the New York Giants. In my mind, chili is an ideal food for a football-watching gathering. You can serve chili to your guests in large mugs—they’re easier to hold while everyone socializes—and you can offer a spread of different condiments so everyone can customize their chili to their own liking.
Since the last thing you want to do during the game is hang out in the kitchen and miss all the action on the field, I’ve adapted my go-to chili recipe for the slow cooker. Put all the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and let it go and it will be hot and ready in time for the game. You can also chop up the vegetables for the recipe—onions, garlic, and green peppers—in the food processor, saving a little more work in the process.
Chili is also traditionally spicy, so if you want to heat things up with some cayenne pepper or jalapeños, go right ahead. When I make chili, I usually have to feed both grownups and kids, so I tend to make it more mild. Besides, you can always add your own heat after the fact (but it's hard to take it out once you've put it in).
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 green bell peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small can fire-roasted chopped green chilis
- 6 ounces beer (optional)
- 1 cups beef broth
- 1 16-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (like Muir Glen)
- 4 tablespoons mild California or Pasilla chili powder (or a mix of both)
- 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 16-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons masa harina (optional)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Cut bell peppers, onions, and garlic into large chunks, then throw them in the food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
- Now you can toss everything into the slow cooker or let it cook, or you can sauté the vegetables and ground beef to cook off excess moisture and add some depth of flavor.
- If you’re going the latter route, heat the oil in a large sauté pan and then add the vegetables. Cook until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer vegetables to your slow cooker and return pan to the stove. Add beef and cook until browned, then add to the cooker.
- Add all the other ingredients except for the masa and stir to combine. I always put some beer in my chili—it's a traditional ingredient—but if you don't want to use it substitute another 3/4 cup of beef broth.
- Cook on low for 6–8 hours or high for 4–5 hours.
- Before the last hour of cooking remove the lid and turn the slow cooker up to high. Dissolve the masa (if using) in some broth or water and stir into the chili, along with the beans. Leave the lid off to finish cooking. You can also add a little more beef broth if the chili is too thick.
We like to serve chili on game day in large mugs and offercondiments like chopped white onions, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, a variety of hot sauces, red chili flakes, and finely chopped jalapeños.
Great accompaniments include cornmeal muffins or squares of cornbread or slices of crusty sourdough bread.