Slow Cooker Chilli

Slow Cooker Chilli

I make chilli quite often during the cold winter months, as it makes such a hearty and comforting meal. It’s also super easy to make, especially if you have a slow cooker! Just brown your meat, cook the vegetables until soft and then add everything to the slow cooker, before allowing it to slowly cook away for a few hours. Much like a good left over Pasta Sauce, Chilli seems to improve on the second time of serving. Once it’s had time to sit overnight, it allows all those flavours to continue to infuse. So it tastes equally as good as it did the first day…if not better!! This meal also freezes and defrosts really well.

I’ve made this recipe before using either diced topside steak or lean beef mince, as the boy’s love the chilli either way. However, if they had to choose a favourite, it would definitely be the one made with diced beef. I also add raw cacao powder in the last hour of cooking, as it gives a wonderful richness. The resulting flavour is amazing and the texture of the beef is so tender.

Chilli is such a versatile meal. You can serve it with white rice, brown rice, corn chips or even in tortillas with salad. But my favourite way to serve chilli is with large baked potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked, I hold them in an oven mitt and gently give each one a bit of a squeeze all over. This helps to mash it up a bit on the inside and break up any large chunks. Then I slice each one in half and press the ends of the potato gently towards the middle. This helps open them up, so they can receive a generous amount of chilli. I finish by topping them off with a large dollop of guacamole. It’s so good!!

Chilli in Baked Potatoes with Homemade Chunky Guacamole

2 tablespoons (30ml) light olive oil, divided (I use this brand)
1kg (2:3.3 ounces) topside steak, diced into 1cm cubes, or lean beef mince
200g (7.1 ounces or a slightly heaped 1½ cups) red onions, diced
1 tablespoon (15ml) finely chopped garlic
150g (5.3 ounces or 1 slightly heaped cup) red capsicum, deseeded and diced
150g (5.3 ounces or 1 slightly heaped cup) green capsicum, deseeded and diced
3 jalapeno chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15ml) dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon (15ml) ground cumin
1 tablespoon (15ml) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (5ml) chilli powder, or to taste
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods, bruised
X1 700g jar pasatta
180ml (¾ cup) beef stock
2 teaspoons (10ml) light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15ml) arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10ml) raw cacao powder
X1 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Method for cooking the topside steak: First you need to brown the meat. So heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over a high heat and add half the diced steak, stirring as it browns so it doesn’t stick. After it’s browned, use a slotted spoon to drain off the excess liquid and then transfer the steak to the slow cooker. Tip out any excess liquid first and then repeat to brown the rest of the meat. Once all the steak has been cooked, tip out any liquid left in the pan.

Method for cooking the mince beef: First you need to brown the meat. So heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over a high heat and add half the mince, stirring as it browns so it doesn’t stick. After it’s browned, use a slotted spoon to drain off the excess liquid and then transfer the mince to the slow cooker. Unlike the diced steak, I don’t tip out the liquid from the pan before I add the next batch of raw mince. Personally, I just find that this helps to break it up a bit easier. Once all the mince has been cooked, you can tip out any liquid left in the pan.

Using the same pan, turn the heat down to medium. Pour in the remaining oil and then add the onion, garlic, capsicums and chilli. Cook until the vegetables are just starting to soften, then add the spices and continue to cook, until fragrant. Next, pour in the pasatta, beef stock, sugar and salt, then stir until well combined.

Pour the cooked vegetables and sauce mixture over the top of the dice beef or beef mince, but do not mix it through. Turn your slow cooker up to high and leave to simmer for around 3½ hours.

To thicken the chilli, mix the arrowroot starch with 1 tablespoon of room temperature water, add it to the slow cooker and then stir it through, until well combined. Next, stir through the raw cacao powder and the drained kidney beans, before allowing to cook for a further hour.

Serve with your choice of white or brown rice, large baked potatoes or in tortillas with salad.

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse


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