Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slow-Cooker Three Bean and Meaty Chili

Everyone seems to have their “go-to” chili, and this one is mine. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you—the slow cooker does all the work! I love a really thick, chunky chili with depth of flavor. I use ground bison, which is leaner and sweeter than beef. The chipotle chile imparts a smoky spicy flavor that is offset by the subtle sweetness of the brown sugar. (If you like a less spicy chili, remove the seeds from the chipotle chili before mincing.) Masa harina, a Mexican corn flour, should be stirred in at the end of cooking to help thicken the liquid slightly and give off a hint of corn flavor. Serve with your favorite chili toppings, and pair with a salad or cornbread.

1 (15 ½ ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ½ ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ½ ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound ground bison (or ground beef), browned and drained
1 pound diced beef sirloin, browned and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons masa harina

Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream
Scallions, chopped
Jalapeno peppers, chopped


Put ingredients in slow cooker in the order listed, through salt and pepper. Carefully stir. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours or high 5 to 6 hours. Add masa harina and stir. Cover for another 10 minutes.

Garnish with favorite toppings and serve hot.

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