A large number of you have been asking me for recipes for the Slow Cooker and I’ve been working on quite a few. Before I begin on this chile recipe I will say that I have found the Slow Cooker (i.e. Crock-Pot) to be the best way ever to make beans. I love all kinds of beans and cooking them long and slow in the slow cooker makes them perfect every time. No presoaking required. I just give the beans a good wash and then put 4 times the amount of water to beans and a healthy palmful of kosher salt (about 2 tablespoons for 4 cups of beans and 16 cups of water (1 galloon). If you want to make a smaller batch then do 2 cups of beans and 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
I love almost all chili: all beef, all bean or a mixture of the two. I make mine with beans and try to use pinquinto beans when I can get them. They are very common wherever you find Santa Maria Style barbecue but I’ve never found them down in Ventura. They are a cross between a white navy bean and a pinto bean. They are GREAT! Thanks to Renee’s friend, Marge, giving me the great tip of where to get them in bulk in Lompoc, then Ana picking them up for me, I now have a 25 pound bag in my pantry! So I’m set for awhile. If you want to see what they look like, here is one link to a web site that sells them:
So the day before I’m going to make chili, I make the beans in the slow cooker. Feel free to use any kind of beans you want. You can mix them as use them from cans. Just give them a good rinse if you are using canned beans. I have the 6.5 quart Crockpot. So this recipe may need to be adjusted if you have a smaller one.
I like my chili served Hawaiian style over rice or Cincinnati style over pasta. (Cincinnati chili has a dash of cinnamon in it if you want to add that too.) Or you can make it Southern Style and serve it with cornbread or San Francisco style and serve it in a sourdough bread bowl.
Slow Cooker Chili
Beans, 6 cups cooked (I use pinquinto beans, but you can use kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans or any beans you like)
Ground Beef, 3 pounds
Kosher Salt, 2 1/2 teaspoons
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, about 4 shakes
Chili Powder, 1 tablespoon
Yellow Onions, 2 diced
Garlic, 2 cloves minced
Cans Diced Tomatoes, 2 14.5-ounce cans
Can of Tomato Paste, 1 16-ounce can
Red Wine, 1 bottle (about 3 1/2 cups)
Chili Powder, 2 tablespoons
Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon
Canned Diced Jalapenos, 3 tablespoons (use 1 tablespoon if you don’t like spicy food or if you don’t like spice at all then use green chiles instead)
Molasses, 1/3 cup
Corn Meal, 2 tablespoons
Corn, 1 16-ounce package frozen corn or 2 15.25-ounce cans of corn
Fresh lemon or lime juice
1. Put already cooked beans in slow cooker.
2. Season ground beef with 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, ground pepper, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon chili powder. Then brown beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove to slow cooker with a slotted spoon. You want to leave the fat drippings in the pan to saute the onions.
3. Cook the diced onion in the fat drippings from the beef. Cook onion for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally until onions are soft. Five minutes into cooking the onions add the minced garlic. While the onion is cooking, put the beans, cans of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, chili powder, kosher salt, diced canned jalapenos, molasses and corn meal into the slow cooker. (Basically all the remaining ingredients except the corn.)
4. When the onions are finished add them to the slow cooker and cook on high for at least 4 hours. After 4 hours you can turn it to low and let it cook as long as you’d like.
5. Add the frozen corn or canned corn about 30 minutes before serving.
6. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese.
Maili’s Note: If you do not have a slow cooker you can still use all of the above ingredients in a pot simmering on the stove. The cooking time on the stove will be cut in half and it will only take about 2 hours to cook.