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Slow Cooker Chilli

What's the big idea?

There must be as many chilli recipes as there are sports fans, and no doubt someone out there will take exception to this one. By all means, add in your favourite secret ingredient if you wish. If you prefer to use stewing steak instead of minced beef, fine. If you prefer more (or fewer) beans, fine. If you want to add more chillies, that's up to you. There is no perfect chilli recipe. But use this as the base, and you won't go far wrong.

This makes a big pot - depending on what you're serving it with, and how big you like your portions, it'll serve eight. Halve the quantities if you are only feeding four, or if it won't all fit in your slow cooker!

And before I forget... Ten, maybe fifteen years ago somebody sent me one of those joke emails about a guy in the US who unintentionally ended up being one of the judges at a chilli contest. Funniest thing I ever read. I've finally found a copy of it, so if you fancy a giggle, read all about the Texan Chilli Contest here!

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2-2½lbs (1kg) lean minced beef
  • 2 teaspoons (more if you like it hot) dried crushed red chillies
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¾ pint of beef stock
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tins of kidney beans
  • 1oz of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

What To Do

  • Pre-heat the slow cooker on high for about half an hour
  • Meanwhile, fry the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil
  • Add the minced beef, and fry until browned. Fry in batches if necessary
  • Add the dried crushed red chillies, paprika, cumin, salt and dried oregano to the pan
  • After a couple of minutes, transfer to the slow cooker, and add the beef stock and chopped tomatoes
  • Cook on high for about 4 hours, or low for 6 hours. Check occasionally to stir and add more liquid if necessary
  • About half an hour before serving, add the kidney beans and dark chocolate
  • Serve with your choice of rice, tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

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