Saturday, December 20, 2014

Center Cut Cook: Slow Cooker Chili

Since it continues to be cold, rainy, and miserable, I have decided that I need something warm, spicy, and delicious.  Something like an awesome bowl of chili.  Or even better, a bowl of Frito pie!  I don't think I had Frito pie until I moved to Texas, but I've got a soft spot for it.  It's awesome year round.  And I really like that this recipe just bubbles away in the slow cooker while I'm doing other things.  The original recipe had enough chili powders/sauces to blow the top off your head, so I've scaled it back a bit.  If it's not spicy enough for your tastes, feel free to add more chili powder or cayenne pepper, or even a bit of Tabasco.

Slow Cooker Chili
Adapted from Center Cut Cook

8 strips applewood smoked bacon
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 pound mild Italian sausage
3 (15-ounce) cans Ranch Style Beans
1 (28-ounce) can mild Rotel tomatoes and green chiles
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (8-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and then drain on a paper towel.  Drain off the bacon fat and use for another purpose.  Chop the bacon and set aside.  Add the chopped onion to the same pan the bacon was in, and sauté until translucent. Add the Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.

In the pot of your slow cooker, place meat/onion mixture on the bottom. Add in the beans, Rotel, tomato paste, garlic, bell pepper, roasted red pepper, and reserved chopped bacon. Add in seasonings: chili powder, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, sugar, oregano, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. To the pot add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Use a large spoon to stir the ingredients so that the seasonings and veggies are incorporated throughout.

Turn the slow cooker on low and let it cook for at least 8 hours. If you’re in a rush, you could cook this on the stove and would need to let everything simmer for at least two hours, but your results aren’t going to be quite as good as the slow cooker method. When ready to serve, top with your favorite garnishes including Fritos, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and diced onion.

Makes 12 servings

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