Not too long ago I bought my first crock pot, but there’s a problem: at the end of five or six hours whatever is cooking in the pot smells amazing. The whole houses smells like warm, starchy comfort. But then what’s inside never tastes quite as good as it smells. The following is another example, although I have to say it’s at least partly my own fault.
Here’s the sich: I found this recipe a few weeks ago on Martha Stewart’s website (watch the video if you have a few minutes; Jimmy is cute) and last Sunday I decided to make it. Unfortunately, it was already 3:30p by the time I got home with the ingredients and our friends were coming over at 8:00p. As you’ll see in the directions, the total cooking time for this chili is about 5h30m, but who wants to eat at 9:00p? So I cooked it for about an hour less that I should have. I think this is the reason that the chili was so runny. But there was also a taste issue, which I don’t think longer cooking would have addressed. Despite the fact that it’s packed with spices and beer, it didn’t really taste like much. Not bad, not great … just there. So even if I had enough time, I’m not sure I would use this recipe again. I will however recommend the very tasty Kettle chili lime tortilla chips we ate alongside it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 pounds ground chuck beef, ground for chili (I don’t actually know what “ground for chili” means and I’m pretty sure Jimmy Fallon doesn’t either)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 habanero chile, seeded and very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chile powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juices
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
- 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
- Chopped tomatoes, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; drain in a colander, discarding fat, and set aside.
- Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, and habanero; season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, combine beef, onion mixture, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beer; cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours.
- Add kidney beans and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with desired toppings.