As I have mentioned here before it is winter at the moment. Which sucks as it is getting cold and wet. BUT, this does mean the return of the CrockPot. I love my CrockPot. I use it around 3 times a week. It is so easy AND makes the house smell fantastic. Do you guys use slow cookers?? I have been tempted by a pressure cooker to get the same result in like half the time, but I am a bit scared of it exploding. And I like that I can put something on in the morning, leave for work and it is done when I get home. Brilliant invention.
Right. Chilli. Mexican inspired dishes are popular in my house and it was my Dad’s specialty when I was growing up. Still is to be fair! It is thanks to him that I was able to adapt his original version so many different ways! Thanks Dadstar!
This was mainly because I was vegetarian for around 8 years, then went pescatarian (for another 2.5 years) when I needed to increase my protein due to upping the amount I was working out. After some intense soul searching where I came to the conclusion that I was single handedly depleting the world’s stocks of tuna and salmon (I sourced sustainable brands for both of these) among other fish, I make the leap back into the world of meat. We made the decision that if we were to eat meat then we should only buy free range and/or organic meats (we are lucky we can afford to do so, so I am not judging here, this was just a decision we made to make it OK for us to return to eating meat). We eat a range of meat from chicken to pork and home killed beef (we have a family dairy and meat farm).
This chilli also has some hidden(ish) veggies in it as I like to sneak these in as much as possible!
To cut an already long story short I have been eating versions of this chilli the whole way through my food journey. It is hands down one of my all time favourite meals, and is even better the next day for leftovers! It can be made vegan, vege, pescatarian or with any kind of meat. It really benefits from the cheaper cuts of meat too – so easier on the wallet. It is also great if you have people in the house who are vege and you eat meat or vice versa as you can just seperate off some of the ingredients and cook separately as opposed to having to make multiple meals. Which gets annoying. Very quickly! 🙂
This recipe makes 4 servings. Double or reduce to suit your needs.
What you will need:
500g chuck steak, chicken, pork, a robust fish species, lamb or 800g of bean/lentil mix (black beans and pintos work well. If using dried beans make sure they have been soaked over night before using. Tinned works well here as well)
1 tin of kidney beans – make sure there are no added sugars. I buy the Ceres Organics brand, it is pretty cheap and has no added nasties.
1 tin chopped tomatoes – same as above.
1 brown onion
1Tbsp coconut oil
2 chipotle chillies, dried and rehydrated by soaking in hot water OR 2Tbsp of your favourite chipotle sauce (I use La Morena as it is yummy, cheap and has good ingredients)
3 – 4 small carrots
3 stalks of celery
optional: 1 capsicum – I don’t use this as I am not a fan, but know plenty who do and love.
2Tbsp of a Mexican spice mix (I use Tio Pablo for the same reasons as I gave for the sauce) OR 1 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cayenne or chilli powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp cumin powder
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 lime or lemon
salt to taste
optional: rice, corn chips, cheese, salsa and guacamole to serve
Food processor (optional), slow cooker or pot, spices,
What you need to do:
- Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium heat
- Roughly chop the onions and add to the frying pan. Add the spices. Cook until the onions are just soft. Add the meat (or the 800g of beans – don’t use the kidney beans yet) and cook until lightly brown. You are not looking to cook the meat just brown the outside.
- Cut carrots, celery (and capsicum) in to rough chunks and blitz for 3 seconds in the food processor OR chop finely. Add to the slow cooker.
- Put the onion, meat/bean spice mix into your slow cooker. Add the chipotle sauce or chilies, kidney beans and tinned tomatoes, give it a quick stir and put the lid on.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. You may want to open the lid for the final 30 minutes to reduce the liquid down and allow it to thicken up.
- 10 minutes before serving squeeze in the lime juice and chop up the coriander. Add to the mix. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve! Either on nachos with chips, salsa and cheese, in enchiladas or burritos. Or in a bowl as is or over rice. This is a versatile dish so be creative! 🙂
NOTE: this can be made in a pot on an element. Follow the same instructions, but cook on a low heat for 2-3 hours, checking it regularly to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. I make it this way for years and it was delicious 🙂