We love our slow cooker (or crock pot to some of you).
We love our slow cooker so much we would take her out for a nice dinner at Sonsie. Afterward, we would buy tickets for a Duck Tour so she could be exposed to the wild world outside of our pantry. Sure it would look like a scene out of the movie Girl, Interrupted, but it’s a risk we would take to show our gratitude for her hard work. If people can clip their nails on the MBTA Green Line, we can take our slow cooker out for a night on the town.
After all, how many people do you know have the ability to work non-stop for 10 hours without so much as a break just to cook you a nice roast? No one can stay focused on one task longer than our slow cooker. She has chutzpah; her mind set on the final goal of delivering us a meal cooked perfectly and free from salmonella or E-coli.
We love her so much we use her even when we really don’t need to. Like in the case of this chili.
Vegetable cooking spray
1 pound ground beef (we used angus)
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
7 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
Sliced green onions (optional)
Coat a large saucepan with the cooking spray and set on stovetop over a medium-high heat. Add your onion, meat and garlic and sauté until the meat is cooked. Drain your meat in a sieve and return to the pan.
There is something very pretty about kidney beans, you know? We don’t revere them like we do our slow cooker, but they are pretty to look at when photographed under the right light.
Well, who isn’t?
Anyway, add in your drained beans and the next 8 ingredients (through pepper) in a separate bowl and stir until mixed. Add the mixture to the cooked meat. Cover and reduce the heat and allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. We also got a little greedy and added some cooked bacon to the mixture and this point. It was heavenly.
Meanwhile, cook the ditalini according to the instructions on the box and combine with the mixture in a large serving bowl. Here is where our love for our slow cooker came in and we added the mixture to the cooker to stew it a little longer. To avoid the chili drying out, we didn’t let it stew very long.
Serve with a dallop of sour cream and a
fistful pinch of Mexican shredded cheese. You could also garnish with some chopped scallions if so desired, to add a little heat and some color. Serve with some cornbread on the side and a good seasonal beer.
It is beyond good chili. Don’t picture a chili that is swimming in beans and stew. That is Wendy’s. This is home-cooked. This right here will warm your heart. This is love.
With or without your slow cooker.