Saturday, April 3, 2010

"you don't need speed"

the food: Three Bean Beer Chili
the song: "Slow Lovin'" Chubby Checker

I've been delving into dangerous territory lately. Last week I started volunteering on Tuesday nights meaning I don't get home until 8, which is just enough time to pour myself a beer (right now, lots of this) and get on the couch for Lost.* The husband has offered to cook, but instead I've taken this as a good opportunity to get to know my Crock Pot. It works quite well, actually. I turn on the Crock Pot before I leave and when I get back, viola! Dinner is served.

Ok, back up. If you've been reading GNP for any time, you know my whole schtick by now: take your time, savor the cooking like you savor the food, there's beauty in the process. Well this post is about to blow all that out of the water. Because in this one, I'm opening lots of cans, throwing them into a big pot, and walking away. Also I got this recipe from Ms. 30 Minute Meal herself, Rachel Ray

Having said that, this chili is totally rockin'. I've made some veggie chilis in the past that were just so-so. In all honesty, my favorite has always come from a box. But I've made this beer chili twice now, once on the stove and once in the slow cooker, and it is quickly becoming my first place chili. Sometimes if I'm inspired I'll make cornbread to go with it. But this is my truth post, so I can tell you I like Frito pie just as much.  

I'm enjoying trying out slow cooker recipes. I'm doubt the Crock Pot will work it's way into the weekly rotation, but I'm finally learning it is good for much more than just queso. The traditional and crock pot chili recipes are below. In the slow cooker version you'll notice the amount of beer is reduced and there's no need for olive oil.

Three-Bean Beer Chili
adapted from Food Network 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup stout beer (I used our buddy's garlic beer for the first batch)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne hot pepper sauce, several drops
1 cup vegetarian refried beans 

Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Deglaze pan with beer, add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans, and stir to combine.
Season chili with cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and salt. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes longer, then serve topped with shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, more hot pepper sauce, or all of the above. 

Slow Cooker Method: Layer all chopped vegetables at the bottom of slow cooker. Pour 3/4 cup beer over vegetables and add 1/2 spices. Layer tomatoes on top of vegetables, then beans and remaining spices at the very top. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Before you are ready to serve, stir the chili, then thicken the chili by adding refried beans. Because of the extra liquid from the slow cooking, you might need more than 1 cup of refried beans. Finish with hot pepper sauce. 


*Note: I'm just gonna come out and say it...I don't think Lost is very good anymore. But this is the last season and I've devoted 6 years of my life to this nonsense. So by golly, I'll be there for the last episode when they all wake up to discover it was nothing but a bad dream.


  1. this sounds delicious! and even though it may not fit your general philosophy everyone needs good options when you're pressed for time.

    and Lost... I'm an episode behind, but I agree. i've put in the time at this point and have to see it to the end though.

  2. Lost you win again! We should have a watching party for the only seems right.