24 Hour Chilli

I haven't had much practise at ingredient shots. Can you tell?
Ingredients for 24 hour chilli, complete with ice crystals.

This is my adaptation of the beef chilli found in Nourishing Traditions (p433). It happened one day (well, yesterday) that, yet again, I’d forgotten to take things out of the freezer the night before I needed them. So I shrugged and threw it all in the crock pot anyway, figuring “eh, it’ll cook.” Clearly I like to live on the wild side.

24 Hour Chilli

  • 1kg (2lb) beef mince (that’s ground beef for those in the US)
  • 100g (3oz) beef or lamb liver, finely chopped
  • 2 containers cooked & frozen kidney beans, equivalent to 2 cans
  • 2 onions, chopped (we ran out this time)
  • 1 ½ cups red capsicum, sliced (I buy in bulk, slice & freeze)
  • 2 × 400g (13.5oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  •  1 tbsp ground cumin
  •  1 tbsp oregano
  •  2 tbsp chilli flakes
  •  4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • ¼ cup red wine, or 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • ¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper, if you like things hotter

Throw everything into your crockpot, there’s no need to defrost. Cook on Low for about a day. I’ve done it for anywhere between 18 and 24 hours, and it’s always turned out well. I usually put in on about lunchtime and turn the crockpot off the next morning. Stir it once or twice during cooking to break up the mince, which tends to cook in one big lump in the crock pot. Serve with any or all of the following: sour cream, guacamole, chopped coriander or spring onions, corn bread, or fried tortilla chips.

Notes and Variations:
Liver is MUCH easier to chop when it’s frozen. I chop it into biggish pieces and freeze it in small portions, then chop finely the day I want to use it. I’m told marinating it in lemon juice improves the flavour and texture, but I’ve yet to try it.

You can substitute the liver for heart, or leave it out entirely. But chilli is a GREAT way to hide the healthy-but-funny-tasting bits of animals. Start with just an ounce and work up, if you have to. I promise not to tell your family, if you don’t tell mine…

Leaving out the beans makes for a good Paleo meal. I wouldn’t substitute anything for them, as vegetables tend to dissolve when cooked this long. Alternatively, you could add fresh veggies an hour or two before you’re ready to eat.

This is best cooked in a 6.5L pot, but it will fit (just) in a 4.5L model. (Note to self: buy bigger crock pot!) The chilli freezes well, and can be doubled if your crock pot is big enough.

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