Smoky Slow-Cooker Chili

Once again, it’s game day. And when I watch football I have a few expectations, like Jeff yelling at the TV, Albus getting stressed because he doesn’t know why Jeff is yelling, and me looking at the football players’ cute butts. Another expectation is that there is cold beer and delicious food. This chili is especially delicious on a cool fall day while you are watching the game.

This recipe is really easy to throw together. Let me show you (now the obligatory food blog step-by-step):

First, brown the cubed meat in a large skillet. You will probably need to do this in batches, otherwise the meat will let off too much liquid and steam instead of sear. See all the yummy seared meat.

Put the meat into the slow cooker and add the vegetables. Sweat the vegetables while scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all browned bits. It seems like a lot of work, but that stuff is flavor!

When the vegetables are nice and soft, transfer them over to the slow cooker. Next, you need to make the seasoning mixture. Puree the chicken stock, chiles, seasonings, and corn meal until the chili’s are broken up.

It doesn’t look too appetizing, does it. But believe me, this adds a lot of flavor and heat. Add the tomatoes, beans, and seasoning mixture to the crock pot and stir. It will look like this:

After 8 hours in the slow cooker, something magical happens. The beef becomes fall apart tender, and the flavors meld together.

Mmmmm. I want this now. You need this now. So go make it. It takes 8 hours, so you better start.

Smoky Slow-Cooker Chili

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Serves 6-8 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 8 hours

  • Canola oil
  • 2 ½ lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 dried arbol chiles, remove the stem and some of the seeds
  • 1 chipotle in adobo with ½ teaspoon of adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of corn meal
  • 1 (16 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (16 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Brown the chuck on all sides, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the meat and add to the crock pot.

Decrease the heat in the pan to medium; add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat the mixture, while scraping the bottom of the pan to lift up the brown bits. Once the onion and pepper mixture is slightly softened, about 5 minutes, add it to the crock pot.

In the bowl of a small food processor (or measuring cup using an immersion blender), add the chicken stock, arbol chiles, chipotle in adobo, cumin, cayenne, salt, and corn meal. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add seasoning mixture to the crock pot. Also add the diced tomatoes, black beans, and pinto beans.

Turn on your slow cooker and set it to low. Allow the chili to cook for 8 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced green onions, and tortilla chips.

Blue Cheese Burgers a la Jeff

This recipe is based off a blue cheese burger from a Restaurant/Bar that we frequent (and hope to frequent more often) called Hackney’s in the South Loop. Their blue cheese burger has the cheese mixed in with the ground beef so that every bite has a bit of blue cheese running through it. Mmmmm. Oh boy, do they have good burgers and a huge selection of domestic and international beers. I am a big fan of Hackney’s!

Anyways, I digress. At a recent barbecue, Jeff decided to make a knock-off of the Hackney’s blue cheese burger and it was very good. It was so good that we decided to have it for dinner this week. This is Jeff’s debut on the blog. Hi Jeff!!

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