Beef Recipe: Beef and Chorizo Slowcooker Chili

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free_meal_plan_beef_chorizo_chiliIt’s no secret that I love chorizo sausage-the smoky, spicy flavour is a favorite in our house. At work the kids were to find a chili recipe and I found this one over on Crepes of Wrath. I didn’t realize that it’s actually made in a slow cooker, which is even better in my opinion! I omitted some of the specialty spices because I couldn’t find them here, and left out cayenne pepper because I thought it would be too spicy.The chorizo that I buy has plenty of flavor which tends to seep through whatever it’s cooked with, leaving things plenty spicy on their own. If you prefer more heat, feel free to add it in. The resulting chili was meaty and rich, leaving Kevin and I sopping up the last bits of sauce with fresh biscuits and declaring it our new favorite recipe. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off, it’s ridiculously easy.

Photo copyright Karen Humphrey

Beef and Chorizo Slowcooker Chili

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath and Dragon’s Kitchen

4 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound chorizo sausage (mine was kind of dry, possibly a smoked sausage, so I peeled off the casings and then broke it apart the best I could)
1 teaspoon salt (I salt to taste and never add the actual measurement)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, diced (I didn’t have jalapeno and was concerned about the heat, so I used 1 tiny thai chili instead)
1/4 cup beer (or apple juice, as I did)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 small cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup chicken stock
juice of 1 lime
2 15-ounce cans of beans (I used romano and black beans)

Toppings: sour cream, Greek yogurt, cheese, chopped green onion, or as Sydney suggests, a fried egg.

In a large skillet, fry up the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain well. In the same skillet, saute the ground beef until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to a plate, and drain off the fat. Add the chorizo sausage to the pan and cook over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon and stirring, until browned and crisp. (in my case, the sausage was so smoked that I didn’t need to cook it long) Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to the slow cooker, along with the ground beef and bacon.

In a small, dry fry pan, toast the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add to the slow cooker along with pepper, oregano, and some salt if you wish (I left it out).

In the slowcooker, add all of the rest of the ingredients, except the beans and toppings. Give the pot a stir, cover, and then set the slowcooker to bubble away for 6 hours on low, or for 3 hours on high. Don’t worry that it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of juice, it will make more sauce as it cooks. An hour before the chili is finished cooking, drain and rinse the beans, then add to the chili.

Enjoy topped with whatever toppings you prefer on your chili-in all honesty, this was so tasty that we were happy to eat it on it’s own, and it froze well for lunches later in the week.

Makes a large pot-I’d say serves 8, maybe?

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