Spencer’s Texas Style Chili
This was superb. Cooked 3.5 lbs of meat and six guys finished it all in one sitting
I really wanted to make a chili this week for Sunday’s football games. The great thing about a slow cooker is that you can just toss in any ingredients that you think will go together and it will normally come out well. I decided I’d look at a few different chili recipes and come up with my own take. The only requirements I gave myself was that it had to have (1) bacon and (2) no beans.
I prefer a Texas style chili (no beans) because you’re basically just seasoning the heck out of the meat and beans often obscure the meat flavor in chili. I don’t want to toot my own horn (okay, maybe I do) but this chili was a real success. I think I can say that it was the best I’d ever had and my taste testers (Tom, Max, Jake, Andrew, and Miles) thought so too. Without further ado…
Ingredients (cost: $30, servings: 8)
- 3 lbs of ground beef
- 1/2 lb of bacon (sliced)
- 1 white onion (chopped)
- 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 big or 4 small jalapeños (seeded and chopped)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 Tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- black pepper/salt
- A splash of beer (I used Anchor Steam out of SF)
- Brown 1/2 the meat with 1/2 of the chopped onion, toss in 1/2 of the garlic with a few minutes left. When there’s no pink color left in the meat, drain the grease and fat and throw the meat/onions into the slow cooker. You can do this all at once if you have a big enough pan to hold 3 lbs of meat.
- Repeat step (1) with the rest of the meat, onion and garlic.
- Cook the 1/2 lb of bacon. A 1/2 lb of bacon is about 7 deli slices. Remove the bacon strips, cut them into 1/2 inch pieces and throw them into the slow cooker. You can also cook the bacon first and then cook the beef in the bacon grease if you’d like.
- Chop up your jalapeños and cook them for a few minutes so that they’re not raw when you throw them into the slow cooker.
- Add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, your spices and a splash of beer to your slow cooker. Give it a stir to mix all the ingredients together.
- Set your slow cooker to Low and cook for 7–8 hours.
For toppings, I suggest: chopped onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream and small crackers.