Monday, December 13, 2010

This recipe sounds yummy on a frigid day!

So we're getting a super cold spell here in east central Iowa. Last night, the low was below zero (-8, I think?) with wind chills easily approaching -25 (yes, negative twenty five) with the gusting wind.

And today isn't much warmer, even with sunny skies - the high is supposed to be 6. We're at about 4 right now, with a wind chill around -10.

Because it's so chilly out today, I thought I'd try a chili recipe I found in Food Network Magazine. It's "Slow-Cooker Texas Chili."

First, it's a nice, warm meal (with a bit of spice, as well), and it's a slow-cooker recipe, so aside from the prep work, all I have to do is let the slow-cooker do the cooking all day. And it'll make the house smell delish.

Anyway, I received a year's subscription to Food Network Magazine from my mother- and father-in-law last year for Christmas. And I must say I've really enjoyed this gift. I get new recipe ideas every month, as well as food tips.

Usually Andrew, Livie, and I have enjoyed the recipes I've tried.

Once in a while, one of us (or all three of us) end up not caring too much for a particular recipe. Maybe it was the recipe; maybe it was user error (as in I didn't execute the recipe just right).

But for the most part, we've been happy with the results.

When I got the September 2010 issue and saw this recipe for "Slow-Cooker Texas Chili," I thought it looked tasty and I marked the page. Texas Chili is the kind without the beans, by the way.

And when I saw the weather forecast for this week, I remembered that I'd marked this recipe, and knew it would be a good one to try for the cold spell we'd be expecting.

So when I dropped Livie off at Pre-K, I came back to do the prep-work.

The recipe in the magazine said there'd be 30 minutes of "active" time plus the seven hours of inactive cooking time in the slow-cooker.

Well, it took me a little longer than 30 minutes before starting up the slow-cooker. It was more like 45. Maybe it was because it's the first time trying this recipe - it always takes me a little longer the first one or two times making a recipe. Or maybe I should've set out all my ingredients before beginning.

It smells awesome so far, because I had to prepare some of the aromatic ingredients (the onion, garlic, chili powder, chiles, etc.) in a skillet before putting it into the slow-cooker.

I sure hope it turns out! I tried getting the mildest chiles possible, so Livie enjoys it, too. If it were for just Andrew and me, it could be much spicier.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Slow-Cooker Texas Chili, courtesy of Food Network Magazine


  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 4.5-ounce cans chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons green hot sauce
  • Sliced scallions, fresh cilantro and/or sour cream, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)


  1. Toss the beef with 1 tablespoon each brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  3. Cook the beef in batches until browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes (do not crowd the pan). 
  4. Transfer to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the skillet and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the garlic, chiles, cumin and chili powder and cook 3 minutes. 
  7. Add 1 1/2 cups water and the tomatoes and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, about 3 minutes. 
  8. Transfer to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low, 7 hours.
  9. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar and the hot sauce to the chili. 
Serve with scallions, cilantro and/or sour cream for topping, and chips, if desired. 

Nutritional Information Per serving: Calories 482; Fat 29 g (Saturated 11 g); Cholesterol 117 mg; Sodium 1,227 mg; Carbohydrate 11 g; Fiber 0 g; Protein 36 g

Oh, and when I stopped at the meat department of my grocery store, the guy at the counter didn't know what I was talking about when I asked for 2.5 pounds of chuck, in cubes. So I got 2.5 pounds of ground chuck. So we'll see how it turns out. 

And now I'm off to clean up the mess I made while preparing the ingredients before they went in the slow-cooker.

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