Chili v1.0

Wow, it’s been a long time since I updated. I have an excuse though… I made a post almost a couple of years ago when friends of mine were laid off from work but I avoided the cut; well, it happened again, on a much bigger scale, and this time I wasn’t so lucky. Still, after a tense few weeks I found another job, and thankfully things are beginning to get back to normal. So without further ado, let’s talk about food :)

I bought a slow cooker a few weeks ago, and I’ve only used it a couple of times so far. Last week we made ginger beef (recipe here, though you might need to make an account to see it) and this week I wanted to try making some chili.

I spent ages looking at recipes, and eventually decided to make my own, pulling in all the stuff I liked from the various different methods. For a first try it worked really well! So here’s what I did. Texas-style chili purists, I’ll warn you ahead of time that it includes things like ground beef, tomatoes and kidney beans, so prepare your hate emails now!

Ingredients, for 4-6 servings:

  • 750g lean ground beef
  • A large onion, chopped
  • 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2-cup of chopped pickled jalapenos (Canadians, I used a brand called Scarpone’s, Safeway sells it in jars alongside the pickles etc)
  • 19oz can of red kidney beans, drained and washed
  • 1/4-cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt x 2 (1/2 tsp in the chili, 1/2 tsp when sauteeing the onion)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper x 2 (ditto)
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 cup beer (I used Phillip’s Phoenix gold lager, it’s darker and richer than most lagers and I had a bottle sitting around in the fridge)


Brown the beef in a large pan or skillet using the oil, on a medium heat it takes around 10 minutes. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered in a triple layer of kitchen paper to drain. Using the same oil, saute the chopped onion with some salt and pepper for 5 minutes or so until it’s soft. Remove and drain like you did the beef.

(Note that preparing all the ingredients and cooking the beef and onion took me a bit over an hour altogether. I’d only anticipated half an hour so if you’re no faster than me, factor that in!)

Put everything in the crockpot and stir it all up. My 5-quart pot was roughly half-filled using the quantities in the ingredients list above. Cover and cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours; I did it for 6h 30m and it was very good, but with maybe a little too much liquid left. Cooking longer would probably take care of that, and you could even cook it uncovered on high for the last 15 minutes to allow some moisture to escape.

Despite the jalapenos and the large amount of chili powder, I didn’t think it was too spicy. Louise thought it was hot enough and wouldn’t want it any hotter, but I would :) I’d be tempted to chop up a fresh habanero and stir that in too if it was just me eating it.

Serve with grated cheddar on top and some crusty bread. When I was a kid we always had jacket potatoes with this, that’d work well too.

This was damn tasty, and luckily we have enough leftovers for a day or two. If you have any suggestions for modifications, let me know! Must go, have to watch the HBO Game of Thrones documentary over and over!

Related post: Chili v1.2 – Triple B

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