Slow-Cooked Chili

Today I put my eight-quart Instant Pot to work making a huge batch of chili. It’s a great weekend meal to make, and I love having bags of it in the freezer for cold nights when neither James or I feel like cooking. I used bacon and ground beef, in addition to a ton of beans, but you could easily make a vegetarian version by leaving out the meat and swapping the beef bullion for a mushroom or vegetable variety. It looks like a lot of ingredients (and it is) but the great thing about chili is that you can throw in pretty much whatever you want and have available and it will taste good.

To make the chili, I used:

  • Five slices of bacon, roughly chopped
  • Just over two pounds of 85/15 ground beef
  • A few tablespoons of olive oil
  • One and a half onions, diced
  • Two cubanelle peppers, seeded and roughly diced
  • One jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • Four garlic cloves, chopped
  • Three tomatillos, diced
  • Two tomatoes, diced
  • Two tbls chili powder
  • One tbls garlic powder
  • One tsp ground white pepper
  • One tbls shichimi togarashi
  • Two tsps smoked tomato powder
  • Two tbls Tajin seasoning
  • Two tbls tomato paste
  • One tsp onion powder
  • One tbls Worcestershire
  • One tbls A1 sauce
  • One tbls beef better than bullion
  • 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • One and a half cans (using the can from the tomatoes) of water
  • One 15-oz. cans of red kidney beans, drained
  • One 15-oz. can of dark red kidney beans, drained
  • One 15-oz. can of pink beans, drained

I started by rendering the fat from the bacon using the sauté setting on the Instant Pot; once it was crispy I removed it and and added the ground beef in to brown. When it was cooked, I drained  and set it aside. I added some olive oil into the pot and cooked down the onions for about 10 or 15 minutes. When the onions were soft and starting to get brown, I added the diced cubanelles, jalapeño, and garlic, and cooked until soft. I added all the dried spices and tomato paste, and let them toast up with the cooked vegetables for two or three minutes, stirring constantly so they wouldn’t burn.

Finally, I added in the rest of the ingredients and set the pot to the normal slow cook setting for six hours. At that point I briefly ran an immersion blender through the mix – still leaving lots of chunks – and then served with diced onion, tomatoes, and tomatillos, shredded cheese, Mexican crema.

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