Peanut butter, sugar, beer, pickle juice and chocolate. What doe these things have in common? These are some of the things people swear by when making chili. I was somewhat surprised by the type and variety of ingredients people add to their chili recipes when doing research to create my own slow cooker chili recipe. In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, I also viewed recipes that called for coffee, masa (made from corn and used as thickener to get chili to desired consistency), cinnamon, corn and siracha sauce.
Chili is a versatile dish that can be created a variety of ways. I’ve seen recipes for southwest chicken chili, beef and butternut squash chili, chipotle steak chili, turkey and bean chili, bison chili and vegetarian chili. No matter what your preference, there is a chili recipe out there to please your taste buds. As far as chili recipes go, I’m a chili purist; I like to use traditional ingredients found in standard chili recipes (you won’t find pickle juice or siracha sauce in the slow cooker chili recipe) and hold firmly to the belief that there should be no beans in a bowl of chili. This has less to do with the ongoing discussions within the Paleo/Primal community regarding consumption of legumes as part of a healthy diet. I’m less concerned with this issue, and more concerned with beans ruining my meaty bowl of goodness. As Texas chili champ Wick Fowler so eloquently stated, “If you know beans about chili, you know that chili has no beans.”
No matter what your chili persuasion, I think you’ll love this recipe! Allowing the ingredients to cook low and slow in the slow cooker results in a thick, smoky, flavorful bowl of chili. I like to prep this chili on Saturday night, adding all of the ingredients into the slow cooker before heading to bed. When I wake up the next morning, it is ready (making my Sunday morning meal prep a breeze)!
Enjoy, and please feel free to share in the comments below if you try this recipe!
Are you team beans or team no beans?
Slow Cooker Chili
Servings: serves 6-8
- 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 pound bacon, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies
- 2 cups beef broth
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon slices to the skillet to cook, flipping once halfway through. Fry bacon until just crispy.
- While the bacon is cooking, line a large plate with paper towels. Once the bacon is finished cooking, remove skillet from heat and place the bacon slices on the paper lined plate to drain. Once the bacon has cooled and is safe to handle, crumble the bacon into small pieces.
- Pour the excess bacon grease from the skillet into a small bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the grease in the skillet.
- Place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Warm 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease in the skillet. Add the diced onion and peppers to the skillet, and sautee for approximately 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Once the vegetables have finished cooking, add them to the bowl of the slow cooker.
- Place the skillet back on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Warm 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease in the skillet. Add the chuck roast cubes and sear the meat until browned, stirring occasionally to make sure that the chunks don’t stick together while browning. Once the meat has browned, remove the skillet from the heat and add the meat to the bowl of the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of the slow cooker, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Cover the bowl of the slow cooker with the lid, and cook on low for 10-12 hours.
- Once the chili has finished cooking, ladle the chili into serving bowls and top with your favorite chili fixings (i.e. cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced red onion, sour cream, etc.)