Meltingly tender beef, spicy sauce and just enough beans to let you know you're eating chilli but not so much that all you taste are beans. This slow cooker chilli con Carne is the perfect dinner for any night. The best part about this recipe is that it only uses Aldi ingredients, so you'll be able to find everything easily.
As I've said before in many posts on Savvy Bites, we'll never use the word "authentic" to describe any of the dishes we make, simply because Aldi just doesn't stock every ingredient for every kind of food. So, what we've got really good at over the course of this cooking journey, is using common ingredients to really bring out the flavour in everything. We're skipping ingredients like chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and using the more common ingredients of cumin and chilli powder.
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Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne
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Ingredients needed for slow cooker chilli con Carne
As with all recipes, some basic pantry ingredients needed are olive oil, salt and pepper.
Lean beef mince- I like to use lean because it gives that beefy flavour but with less fat and grease. You can use a higher fat content beef, though.
Smoked pancetta (optional, but highly recommended)- This is an optional extra, I just love the smokey salty taste and the texture that it brings to the chilli
Onion, garlic, celery- The flavour building blocks of any slow-cooked recipe.
Mixed chilli peppers- A green chilli pepper for in the slow cooker and some more for serving.
Tinned tomatoes, tinned mixed beans- To give that unmistakeable chilli flavour and texture. The beans also help to add extra protein.
Chilli powder, cumin & cocoa powder- The traditional spices of chilli. Leave the cocoa powder to stir in at the very end.
Avocados, chilli peppers, coriander, cheese, lime wedges and tortilla chips- Because what's proper chilli without all the trimmings.
Step by step how-to
Step 1 & 2- Heat a tiny drop of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan, or the bowl of your slow cooker if it can go on the hob. Once the oil is hot, add in the pancetta and cook until deeply golden and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan and drain on some kitchen towel. Drain away all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat and fry the beef until crispy and golden. Don't worry if it looks dry. Slow cooking in the tomato sauce will turn the beef melt in your mouth tender.
Step 3 & 4- Sautee the onion, celery and garlic in the frying pan or in the bowl of your slow cooker. Once the vegetables are tender stir the beef, pancetta, and vegetables together in the slow cooker.
Step 5 & 6- Add in the tinned tomatoes and beans. If you're using the new Aldi mixed beans with spicy tomato sauce then add in the whole tin. If using regular kidney or mixed beans, be sure to drain and rinse them first.
Season with chilli powder, cumin and some dried thyme. Go easy with the salt at this stage. You can taste and adjust after the cooking time.
I like to leave this chilli on for as long as possible because I just really love a slow-cooked chilli where all the flavours melt together and the longer you let it cook, the better it is. So, cook on low for about 4-5 hours or longer. This chilli will happily sit for 8 hours on low. Alternatively, it's no problem to cook this chilli on high for about 3 hours. Once the chilli is cooked, stir in a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Be sure it's unsweetened!
As many or as few as you like...
- Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- Coriander (fresh, chopped)
- Tortilla chips
- Chilli slices
- Green onion, sliced
Everyone knows that chilli is the MVP when it comes to meal prep and stocking your freezer. It only gets better with time, making it perfect for storing.
Refrigerate and freeze- Cool completely and store either in a large ziplock bag or in an airtight container. Leave in the fridge for up to 3 days and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating- From frozen or from the fridge, place the chilli in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and gently heat until warmed through.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Tools used to make this Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne
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