Sunday, March 31, 2013

Slow Cooker Chili


1.5 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 14-oz. cans chopped tomatoes, with juices
1 14-oz. cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup beef stock
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/6 c. cornmeal
1-2 Tbsps chili powder, to taste
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a slow cooker. Add onions to the skillet and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Drain fat and add onions and garlic to slow cooker.

Add the ground turkey to the skillet, brown it, and transfer it to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Add all the remaining chili ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Cover and cook for 6 hours – 5 on high and the last hour on low.

Adapted from:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beef Stew


2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 pound cremini (aka baby portobella) mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, and sliced.

2 lbs stew meat
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and medium dice
1 turnip diced (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
3-4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 - 1.5  cups dry red wine (I used Tilia Malbec)
2 tablespoons mustard (Dijon)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
3-4 potatoes cut into large chunks (Can use sweet potatoes, yukon golds, red, etc)

2 cups chicken broth
2-3 dried bay leafs

1 cup frozen peas (optional)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

  1. Heat oil in cast iron skillet. Add butter if desired. Brown mushrooms in cast iron skillet and add to slow cooker.  
  2. Coat the stew meat with salt and pepper. Saute the meat in a cast iron skillet in as many batches as needed to get them evenly browned. Remove the meat to the slow cooker. 
  3. If needed, add a little oil to the skillet. Add the celery, carrot, turnip, onion, garlic, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots just begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook until it’s no longer raw-tasting, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and mustard, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Use spatula to deglaze skillet. Cook until the wine reduces by roughly half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the slow cooker. 
  4. Now add the following into the slow cooker: paprika, potatoes, chicken broth and bay leaf, tucking the bay leaf into the broth. Stir.
  5. Cover and cook on high (300 degrees F) for about 30 minutes and then set to low (200 degrees F) for about 9 hours until the beef is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.As an alternative, one recipe I read said to cook on high, stirring about every 1 1/2 hours if possible (if you can’t stir it that often, it’s OK), until the beef is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 5 hours. 
  6. At the end, add the peas and parsley, stir to combine, and continue to heat until the peas are warm, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

I took several recipes from the internet and combined what I thought were the best ideas. Sources included, The Pioneer Woman, TPW again, and I read a few others (who can keep track?). There's one I found that uses Guinness that I plan to try sometime soon.