November 29, 2011

Slow cooker chili macaroni

We stocked up on beef, including a good amount of ground beef, at the end of our farmers' market this fall. We get the majority of our beef (and a lot of other things like shiitake mushrooms) from Green Heron Growers. Their beef is grass-fed and all their food is organic. I was never a big fan of red meat growing up, but once I started eating grass-fed, it is a whole other story. Plus, I love that I can get our meat from a local family farm and that I know the cows were able to walk around outdoors and eat the diet they were meant to eat (not corn).

This meal is something a little different for me. It's a slow cooker recipe that I modified from The Slow Cooker Bible. I was looking for an easy dinner for a busy weeknight and the chili mac caught my eye. It sort of reminded me of being a kid (ground beef and elbow noodles!) and I thought it would be a comforting and fun sort of meal that we would enjoy. Anytime you cook something low and slow, the flavors really develop and the slow cooker is no exception. I liked this dish a lot and it makes great lunch leftovers, too. This should serve about five to six people as a main dish, especially with a green salad or something similar on the side.

Slow cooker chili macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. ground beef 
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika or chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon (more or less to your tastes) of your favorite hot sauce
1 can (14-15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/4 cup ketchup (preferably made without high fructose corn syrup)
1 box (16 oz) elbow macaroni

In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the ground beef and cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon until browned. Drain and place in the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker except for the noodles. Stir well. Turn on low and let cook for 6-8 hours.

Cook the macaroni noodles in salted boiling water until they are almost al dente. Drain and then add the noodles to the slow cooker and stir. Let cook another 15-20 minutes on low, until the noodles are al dente. 

Serve with extra hot sauce, if desired. You could also top with some grated cheddar cheese or sour cream.

What was I cooking one year ago? creamy cauliflower soup

1 comment:

  1. I love making chili in the slow cooker - like you say, the flavors develop so well!


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