Feel smug at having dinner sorted hours ahead of time with this wonderful Slow Cooked Chunky Beef Chilli – perfect for busy days! Using diced beef rather than beef mince takes the humble chilli con carne to the next level… and the long slow cook ensures the beef is meltingly tender. Instructions given for both oven and slow cooker.
Are you a get ahead person or a last minute merchant? I am most definitely the former (yes I was that annoying person who always had their homework done a day early!). I particularly like getting ahead where food is concerned…there is a wonderful feeling knowing you’ve got dinner all sorted and organised and chuntering away in the oven hours before dinner time. This Slow Cooked Chunky Beef Chilli is perfect for those sorts of days when you want to get ahead.
It only takes a few minutes to put this dish together earlier in the day, then it happily spends the next 3 hours or so (it’s flexible) doing it’s stuff in the oven (or 6-8 hours in the slow cooker), not to mention filling the house with the most amazing aromas. All you need to do is make some rice or heat some tortillas right before you want to eat and you are done. Oh the smugness at having dinner sorted hours before it’s needed!
The idea for this meal came from the fact I LOVE the flavours of a good Chilli con Carne, but I’m not mad keen on mince – I’m just not that big a fan of the texture of mince and I feel the flavour is not a patch on the flavour I get from all the slow cooked beef dishes I love (my Beef Bourguignon and my Hungarian Beef Goulash in particular). So I decided to combine the flavours of a chilli with the gorgeous, meltingly tender texture and delicious flavour of slow cooked beef – the result is out of this world and has had me kicking myself for not trying this before now.
Don’t worry about the generous amount of chilli flakes and spices, I add to this dish. The long slow cooking softens and mellows the chilli and spices and the result is only a gentle level of heat – my kids can’t cope with much heat and they were fine with this – loved it in fact! If you want, you could simplify things further and replace the chilli, herbs and spices with 2 tablespoons of mild chilli powder. And obviously, if you like things hot, feel free to add more chilli flakes!
The best thing about this Slow Cooked Chunky Beef Chilli is it is even better the next day, so don’t forget to make an extra portion to reheat the next day. I reheat mine in a saucepan with a splash of water and heat until the beef is piping hot all the way through (10 minutes or so), but you could also reheat this in the microwave, if you prefer. This is also a great recipe to make a double quantity of and freeze half for a busy day in the future.
If you want to turn this simple one pot meal into a bit of a feast, add rice and / or tortillas, sour cream and guacamole and you will have a fabulous dinner party main for hardly any effort (promise I won’t tell).
A Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon would be a great match for this dish or why not try an Argentinian Malbec?
If you like this recipe…
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Slow Cooked Chunky Beef Chilli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 800 g stewing beef diced into 1cm / ½inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic – crushed or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large red pepper chopped into small chunks
- 400 g tin kidney beans
- Rice and/or tortillas to serve
- Guacamole, sour cream & fresh coriander to serve (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F.
- Put the onion and olive oil in an oven proof saucepan or hob proof casserole dish and fry gently, with the lid on for 5 minutes, until the onions are softened but not brown.
- Turn the heat up and add the beef. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, chilli flakes, herbs and spices. Turn the heat down and gently fry for 2 minutes.
- Next add the tinned tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Put the lid on and transfer to the oven. (If you haven’t used a pan you can put in the oven, transfer to an oven dish, before putting in the oven). Cook for 2 hours 30 minutes.
- After 2 hours 30 minutes, add the kidney beans and the red pepper and stir. Cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Serve with rice and / or tortillas plus sour cream, guacamole and fresh coriander.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Follow the instructions above, but instead of putting the stew in the oven, place it in your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. Add in the kidney beans and peppers 1 hour before the end.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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