Last weekend in the sleepy little town of Sutter Creek, there was a car show and chili cook-off. Why do car shows and chili go so well together? Or more to the point, why does chili appeal to men as much as hot rods do? I haven’t a clue . . .
Chili Cook-Offs are fun. While we’ve never been to the big-boy cook-offs with serious “expert” judges, we’ve been to our share of little country Chili events. You know, where you pay a few dollars for tickets, sample chilies and use those tickets to vote for your favorites. Kiddo and I have even kicked around the idea of entering some of the small-town local competitions. When it comes to chili recipes, we’ve got a million of them. Okay, maybe not a million, but a few. I grew up on Chili and cornbread. It is a part of who I am.
I love making chili from scratch, with a long overnight soak of beans and hours of simmering. I also enjoy an easy chili with “cheats” such as canned beans and stewed tomatoes. Chili any way you cook it is good stuff Maynard.
Slow-Cooker Beefy Kidney Bean Chili
1 Yellow Onion
1 Bell Pepper, Red
Olive Oil as needed
4 Jalapeño Peppers
6 Garlic Cloves
1 Beef, Ground Chuck
1/8 cup Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
Kosher Salt to taste
2 (15 oz) cans Kidney Beans, drained
2 cans Ro-Tel Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 cup Beef Stock
Peel and dice onion. Set aside. Core bell pepper, discard the seeds. Dice pepper and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
While the onion mixture is cooking, dice the jalapeno pepper and set aside. Peel and mince garlic cloves, set aside.
Once the onion mixture is soft, add the Jalapeño peppers and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minutes.
Crumble the ground beef, add to the onion mixture. Cook, breaking meat into small pieces, until browned through. Season with chili powder, cumin and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Transfer the meaty-onion mixture to the slow cooker using a large slotted spoon.
Drain and rinse the Kidney beans. Add to the slow cooker. Stir to blend. Empty the Fire Roasted Tomatoes with their juices into the pot. Stir to blend.
Add beef stock. Taste and adjust seasoning once more.
Cook on LOW for 6 hours for flavors to fully mature.
1 cup Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Just before serving, shred the cheese using the smaller holes of the cheese grater. Freshly grated cheese will melt and blend more easily.
Peel shallot. Shave into paper-thin rings and set aside.
When ready to serve, ladle the chili into a bowl. Top with cheese, some shallot shavings and a dollop of sour cream.
This chili is delicious with Mini Cornbread Muffins.