Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Chili con Carne

Chili con carne with hearty hunks of beef slow cooked in tomatoes with a ton of spices, bacon, garlic, onion, chipotle and jalapeno peppers. No beans allowed. Not in this chili. This chili is a celebration of meat.

I don’t use a crockpot for convenience here but rather for the way it magically transforms the toughest of meat into something tender and edible. This isn’t a recipe where you can throw everything right into the crockpot and be done, there’s some work to do before that can happen.

The first thing to do is get your bacon cooking – in the oven – those days of cooking messy, splattering bacon on the stove are history. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, lay out your bacon and 15 minutes or so later you will be rewarded with perfectly cooked bacon. Let the grease cool off a little, fold the aluminum foil up around it and discard. Your pan and stove top are left clean.

You can usually find chuck steak, the cut I use for this, already cut up, it will be labeled chuck cubes for stew or something similar to that. Those have to be seared first in a hot pan to brown and caramelize, followed by the garlic, onion and jalapenos. Don’t worry about the vegetables picking up those browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan because we want that. That’s more flavor.

Let’s talk spices. Initially I was going to use dried chiles but decided to make it easily accessible to everyone by using dried. This is hot, hot, hot. In addition to the jalapenos I use canned chipotle peppers in adobo, smoked jalapenos surrounded by a spicy sauce. I also used chili powder, ground ancho chile peppers, ground cumin and Mexican oregano. {If you want to make it without “heat” omit the jalapeno and chipotle peppers. The ancho peppers are quite mild – I feel comfortable telling you to leave it in or cut the amount in half.}

I like to serve it over rice to catch the rich, rust-colored sauce, with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, green onions and giant dollops of cooling sour cream. Tortilla chips are a must for scooping and dipping. I also set aside a couple of slices of bacon to crumble over top.

Now you’re armed with everything you need to make yourself one awesome bowl of meaty chili.

Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne

Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Slow-Cooker Chili Con Carne

Chili con carne with hearty hunks of beef slow cooked in tomatoes with a ton of spices, bacon, garlic, onion, chipotle and jalapeno peppers. No beans allowed. Not in this chili. This chili is a celebration of meat.

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces smoked bacon
2 - 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck steak or roast, cut into 1/2 - 1-inch cubes
coarse sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
vegetable or olive oil, for browning the meat
2 large yellow or Spanish onions, diced
2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
2 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo plus 2 tablespoons of the sauce they come in (like this )
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth or 1 bottle dark beer
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder (like this )
2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper (like this )
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crushed between your fingertips
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons masa like this or 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
for serving:
shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack
tortilla chips
cooked rice
sour cream
avocado
chopped green onions

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Lay the bacon down in one layer and bake 12 - 15 minutes or until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Season the cubes well with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the cubes in batches turning to brown on 2 - 3 sides. Add more oil to the pan in between batches as needed. Add them to a 4 quart crockpot or larger.
  3. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the pan set over medium heat and cook the onion, jalapenos and garlic until softened, seasoning them well with salt and pepper. Add the chipotle peppers and sauce, stir and cook 2 more minutes. Add them to the pot.
  4. Add the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, all the seasonings including 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the masa or cornstarch slurry. Crumble up the bacon, set aside a little bit for garnishing and add the rest. Stir it all together.
  5. Cook on high 4 - 5 hours or low 8 hours, tasting during the last hour or two and adding more seasonings, salt or pepper as needed.
  6. Serve with your choice of garnishes over rice, if desired.

Notes:

To make it without the heat omit the jalapeno and chipotle peppers. The ancho peppers are quite mild – I feel comfortable telling you to leave it in or cut the amount in half.

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-chili-con-carne/

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