I’m feeling like it’s a chili kind of night…
For one there’s Thursday night football… always a good excuse to make a giant pot of chili. But also, it’s just been that kind of a week (you know what I mean), and chili just sounds perfect right about now.
Anyone with me?
I’m sure you guys have heard me say this before, but the only way my mom will eat chili is if it’s served over a giant bed of angel hair pasta…aka Cincinnati style chili. So this is how I grew up eating chili. In fact, for the longest time I really just thought this was how everyone ate chili. I mean, why would you use a bowl if you could eat chili atop a bed of pasta?
It really wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that not everyone enjoyed their chili this way. At first, I was kind of like, well you guys are doing it so wrong, and to a point I still feel this way, BUT now I understand that there are times when a simple bowl of chili might be just right.
I mean, don’t get me wrong I still prefer chili + pasta, but some nights it’s kind of nice to just have a big bowl of chili with a heaping pile of cheddar on top and a double serving of beer bread for scooping. So really, I’m just swapping out carbs for more carbs, but whateves, you guys know how I like to do it around here.
SIDE NOTE: I sent this over to my parent’s house and word on the street is that the brothers mowed down bowl after bowl. And mom… yeah, she boiled up some angel hair pasta and ate it Cinnci style. Typical.
I have been wanting to create a crockpot beef chili like this one for the longest time now, so I figured fall would be the perfect time to do it. To me, chili is just a fall food. I know it’s equally great for winter, but for some reason the majority of my chili making happens in the fall. Anyone else the same?
I went back and forth about whether or not this should be a crockpot recipe or not. It seems there are a lot of you out there who love crockpot recipes, but then there are some of you who don’t have crockpots, so I am always torn on what direction to go. In the end though, the thought of this chili just slow cooking all day on my kitchen counter sounded too good, so crockpot recipe it is!
That said, any of you who do not own a crockpot, don’t worry, you can just as easily make this on the stove! 🙂
Beyond the smell of the chili simmering all day, what’s really my favorite about this recipe is the flavors. The heat of the chili is balanced with just a touch of sweetness from the maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Maple and cinnamon are honestly the perfect way to tie warm fall flavors into this hearty chili, and they pair so well with the beef in the recipe. Oh, and speaking of the beef, if you and your family prefer chicken or turkey, those will work great here too!
Just don’t forget the side of bread…preferably beer bread…or pasta if that’s more your thing…or ok, just both?!?!
Oh my gosh, and of course the cheddar! Can’t have chili without a giant pile of cheddar cheese on top. Cheddar is definitely a must! 🙂
Crockpot Beef Chili.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 small onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 2 pounds lean ground beef see note
- 2 poblano peppers seeded + chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne more or less to your taste
- 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 leaves bay
- cheddar cheese avocado, green onions and cilantro, for serving
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes or until it begins to caramelize around the edges. Stir the garlic and cook another minute. Use your hands to crumble the ground beef into the pot. Brown the beef, breaking up the meat as you go, about 8 minutes. Once the beef is browned, add in the poblano pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Give it a good stir and let cook about a minute or two. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Transfer the beef mixture to the bowl of your crockpot. Add 2 cups chicken broth, the tomatoes, tomato paste, maple, and bay leaves, stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or hight for 4-5 hours. If your chili is too thick, add the remaining broth to thin.
Remove the bay leaves and ladle the chili into bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro. Eat!
Fist pump for the first chili of the season. YUM!