Sometimes I really enjoy my slow cooker. There is something about just dumping all of the ingredients into a pot and letting it cook. I think chili needs to be cooked slow. I’ve tried short-cutting this and it just isn’t the same. I like a soft bean in my chili and I like the tomatoes to be as delicate as possible. That’s what slow cookers will do for you. It also will take your meat and make it fall apart – oh that’s a good thing, that’s what you want.
I’m always on the hunt for new and improved chili recipes, but this time I wanted just classic chili, something thick and rib sticking, but without a bunch of unhealthy ingredients. This could easily be made into a vegetarian chili. I use 12oz of sirloin steak, but you really don’t need any meat at all. It can stand on its own.
This is also a perfect palette for heat. I have a variety of different heat tolerances in my house, so I lean toward the edge of mild with a little extra hot sauce on the table, in case anyone needs it. If you are a spicy one, add more heat in from the very beginning. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few splashes of hot sauce as it’s cooking away.
I used masa to thicken this chili, but arrowroot is also a great thickener as well as cornstarch. Neither one of those will give you the wonderful corn flavor of masa that tastes amazing in chili. It’s not expensive and you can buy it right by the flour usually. Even if you’ve never used it, I recommend having some on hand. If you ever get crazy and want to make tamales, you will use masa and you can thicken tortilla soups with it as well. Once you have it, you’ll find a way to use it.
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 – 15oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes with liquid
- 1 – 15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 4oz can diced green chilis (or you could substitute 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 12oz sirloin steak, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1/4 cup masa harina
- 2 cups water or low sodium beef stock
- Optional Toppings: Shredded cheese, diced red onion, avocado,
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add canola oil and onions, sauté until soft
- Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute
- Remove from heat and add to the slow cooker
- Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker
- When adding the masa, mix it with the water or stock first to break up any clumps and then add it to the slow cooker
- Set on low for 6 hours and keep warm after that
- Top with optional toppings