Friday, May 6, 2011

Chilli beef casserole - slow cooker ideas

It's coming into the colder months and I don't know about you but it's the time of year that I start to crave the warmer home-style meals. And it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of chilli or anything with some spice.
This is a recipe that I stumbled across in one of my favourite foodie magazines "Food Ideas" July 2010 issue although (as usual) I changed the recipe slightly to suit.

Slow cooked Chilli beef casserole - serves 4

2T olive oil
750g gravy beef, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2cm cubes
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 
1 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced
2T plain flour
1T Mexican chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 fresh jalapeño, sliced
1c beef stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
2x 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 block of Philadelphia cream cheese
1c rice
Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Heat 1T olive oil in a heavy based pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef in batches until brown. Ensure the pan is heated enough that the beef is not stewing in its own juices (if this happens, retain the juice and use along with the stock). Transfer cooked beef to a bowl.
Heat remaining oil and add onion, garlic and capsicum. Cook until onion has softened. 
Return the cooked beef to the pan and add flour, chilli, jalapeño and coriander. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until all ingredients are combined.
Stir in beef stock and bring to the boil.
Once the pan is at boiling stage, transfer the beef to a slow cooker and cook for 1 hour on low. 
After an hour add the kidney beans and rice. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through.
Stir through Philadelphia cheese and serve immediately with fresh coriander.


Mexican chilli powder contains paprika, chilli, cumin, oregano, pepper and garlic - so if you don't have it in your pantry you could improvise, it would however require a lot of tasting to ensure you get the amounts correct.

The Philly cheese adds a nice creaminess to this dish, if you're healthy conscious omit the cheese and use brown rice to the meal. Also look for salt-reduced alternatives for the tomatoes and kidney beans.

This dish could also be packed with vegetables - celery, carrots, beans etc.

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