How many of of you have a slow cooker? I absolutely LOVE mine! I've used it three times in the three weeks that I've been back at uni and each time it has produced a meal which has been delicious. Even when I made chilli in it without any chilli powder in because I forgot to buy some.
The meal forgave me when I quickly stirred in some newly bought chilli powder that I took a detour to get on my way to pick up a box of cereal. Yes, I know how that sounds but I won it over Twitter. Stranger things have happened. Like putting apples in a chilli recipe.
I found the recipe over at The Cupcake Project and the idea of a spicy apple chilli instead of a tomato based one had me hooked. Except I couldn't be bothered with the individual steps so I decided to bung it all in the slow cooker and hope for the best. It was a dream. A dream I wanted to have a second portion of straight after my first. There is no burn your mouth out heat, simply a beautiful aromatic cocoon of sweet spices swirling around the meat which cooks to a seductive crumble which gives itself up at the slightest bite. The apples cook down to a state where they can melt in the mouth, combining with the soft, fluffiness of slow cooked pulses. I don't know what could be more comforting, besides maybe a square of almond apple cake with custard for afters.
It may seem bizarre but just go with it. And I found are still questioning the combination let yourself be swayed by the thought of having it ready and waiting after a hard days work and a journey home in the tortuous cold. Seriously, throw it all in the slow cooker, stir and go. You work hard enough to keep going through the discomfort of the autumn and winter months. Let your slow cooker take its turn.
Slow Cooker Apple Pie Chilli
A slow cooker chilli containing plenty of warming aromatic spices and chunks of apples to give it a new dimension and alternative to tomatoes.
- 2 slices bacon, trimmed of fat and chopped
- 500g minced beef
- 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
- A good squeeze garlic puree
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
- 0.5 tsp cumin
- A squeeze tomato puree
- Approx 500g apples. peeled, cored and chopped
- 400ml cider (ajust according to how liquidy you like chilli), heated
- 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1. Place all in the ingredients into the bowl of a slow cooker and stir until evenly distributed. Make sure the cider is hot when you add it so the slow cooker doesn't have to work to heat it up first.2. Put on the slow cooker lid and leave on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. If there is too much liquid for your liking towards the end of cooking time, turn to high and leave the lid off for a bit before serving. Alternatively, make a cornflour paste with some of the liquid, stir it back into the pot and leave on high with the lid off to thicken. 3. Serve with rice, pasta, nachos etc as you wish.
I don't post savoury recipes anywhere near as often as sweet ones so I'm pretty lucky I've posted this right when Janice from Farmrsgirl Kitchen has set an open theme for her Slow Cooked Challenge. I'm also pretty lucky that I Shopped Local (ok, free) for the cider which went in this so I'm sending it to Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary too. dad made the cider a couple of years ago from the apples off the big tree in our garden. The apples also mean there is an extra lot of fruit in each portion so it should be suitable for Extra Veg, this month hosted by Emily from A Mummy Too on behalf of Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy. It's also something a little different from my usual entries for Lucy's CookBlogShare at Supergolden Bakes.