Chili con Carne

September 19, 2012

This slow cooker Chili con Carne* recipe has been popular, so time to post it. I’ve made a number of modifications and it’s a little different every time I make it. I usually cut things in half because I have a smaller slow cooker. [I’ll add my own comments along the way.]

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

Works in slow cookers from 3 1/2 to 6 quarts

Ingredients

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes [Or 1 lb for a smaller recipe]

2 onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves, crumbled [Substitute basil if you don’t like oregano]

1  cinnamon stick [First time I made this I didn’t have cinnamon sticks so I used nutmeg]

1 tsp cracked black peppercorns

2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted [I don’t usually have cumin seeds, so I add powdered cumin]

1 cup beef stock

1 cup lager or pilsner beer [Just use the whole bottle]

2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed, drained [1 can works for my smaller recipe]

1 tbsp ancho chili powder or 1/2 tsp cayenne dissolved in 2 tbsp lime juice [I use juice of a whole lime]

1 jalapeno pepper or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced [I’m not a fan of really spicy, so I may just leave these out]

2 poblano or Anaheim chiles or green bell peppers, diced [I like Hungarian or Red peppers, not Green]

Garnishes [I rarely have these around]

Finely chopped cilantro

Sour Cream

Chopped red onion

Roasted red pepper strips

Preparation

1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine flour and salt. Add beef and toss until evenly coated, discarding excess flour mixture. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add beef, in batches, and cook, stirring, adding more oil as necessary, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and toasted cumin and cook stirring, for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add beer and beans and stir well.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on  High for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is tender. Add chili powder solution, jalapeno pepper and poblano peppers and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 20-30 minutes, until fresh peppers are tender. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve with garnishes of your choice.

* From “The Healthy Slow Cooker” by Judith Finlayson © 2006 Judith Finlayson


Shedding Season: A Toe to Head Journey

September 8, 2012

Dogs shed, it’s a fact of life, unless you have some form of doodle or a hairless *shudder* dog. And German Shepherds are especially prolific shedders, but it’s also fun to pull those tufts out, it’s so easy. Of course, the dog is not quite so happy about it. Georgia puts up with it for about a minute before she’s done with you and tries to get away.

Today, I think we are almost done with this round of shedding that started in late May. That’s 4 months of Georgia bunnies all over the house, wisps on the carpet, numerous vacuum cleaner bags, visible hair in the air in the sunbeams.

The hair works its way out from the rear to the front, from toe to head.

June – seriously unkempt rear end.

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Pulling it out huge amounts at a time.

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July – the vacuum cleaner can hardly keep up.

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August – after a dog bath, looks like it’s dissipating.

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September – head tufts, this is it, right?

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Hopefully, we’ve reached the end for a few months until the next shedding season starts, probably around December or January, when that heavy winter undercoat needs to come in and pushes out the summer coat that is there now.


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