Slow-Cooker Smoky Beef and Bean Chili

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I can’t think of anything better and more tummy-filling on a chilly fall night than a nice big bowl of spicy, beefy/beany chili with a side of warm cornbread from the oven.  It hits the spot every time and warms me to the core! 🙂  It also happens to go great with football!  (I know some people will argue that REAL chili doesn’t have beans, but I prefer chili with beans…so there.)

This is a recipe that I stumbled upon a few years ago from Real Simple Magazine and I’ve added and changed things and made a bean-less version (for my non-bean-eating husband).

I love this recipe because I can throw everything into the slow-cooker and not worry about it until dinner (FABULOUS!).  This is also great because I throw the leftovers in the freezer and warm them up when we want chili again! Can’t get any easier than that!

I’m going to post my two versions of the recipe.

The first is my take on the original WITH beans.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-15.5 ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1-15.5 ounce can of black or pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1-28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces lager beer
  • ¾ pound beef chuck, cut into ¾-inch pieces (stew meat can be substituted)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (depending on your heat tolerance level)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, sear beef. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.

2. In 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, mix together the beans, tomatoes and their juices, beer, beef, yellow onion, garlic, tomato paste, flour, chili powder, chipotles, cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt.

3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Serve with corn bread, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

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(NOTE: The picture above is actually the bean-free version with some beans added, because I wanted beans in my bowl when we had this the other night!)

The second version is bean-FREE!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1-28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces lager beer
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs 90/10 ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (depending on your heat tolerance level)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet, brown beef. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.

2. In 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, mix together the bell peppers, tomatoes and their juices, beer, beef, yellow onion, garlic, tomato paste, flour, chili powder, chipotles, cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt.

3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours. A few minutes before serving, stir in the corn just until corn is warmed through.  Serve with corn bread, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

Either version is yummy and super-tummy-filling. Our favorite side with this recipe is good-old-fashioned cornbread! MMM!!

What’s your favorite Fall recipe??

Happy Fall! 🙂 Enjoy!

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Easy-Peasy (& Crowd-Pleasing) Taco Salad!!

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Do you love tacos or taco salad?

WE DO! 🙂

This is a staple recipe in our house and it was shared by my mother-in-law (and then tweaked by me). We love this and use this taco meat for tacos, taco salads, in burritos, etc.  BONUS: It’s even better as leftovers!! This is one thing my husband will eat as leftovers (IF there are any leftovers)!!

The recipe couldn’t be easier, too! 🙂

What You’ll Need for the Meat:

  • 1 lb. 90/10 or leaner ground beef (or you can use ground turkey or meatless substitute)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles 
  • 1 green long hot pepper (very mild), diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or diced finely
  • 1/2-1 cup corn kernels
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium skillet, brown up your meat and season well with salt and pepper. Once browned well, drain any excess fat/liquid.

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Add to meat your diced jalapeno, diced long hot pepper, and garlic. Cook for about a minute. (In these pictures, I used a 1/4 habanero pepper and 1 red jalapeno…both SPICY!!) 

Next, add your can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles and stir. Cover and cook on low-heat for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

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After 30 minutes, add the corn kernels and cook for just a couple minutes longer…just to warm the corn through.

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For Taco Salad:

Serve with lettuce, chips, cheese, sour cream, salsa, beans, guacamole (really whatever you like in a taco salad).

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For Tacos or Burritos:

Enjoy with your favorite crunchy or soft taco shells and taco toppings, or wrap up in your favorite tortillas with your favorite burrito fillings!

This is a GREAT recipe to use for parties and big groups (just double or triple the recipe) because everyone can make it the way they prefer! Just serve with a large variety of toppings!  It’s a real crowd-pleaser! 🙂 

Enjoy! 🙂