The days are finally getting cooler. This past weekend was warm enough to rake the leaves wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and today I want to hibernate for the winter (okay, a little too soon for that). What could be better than a chili for dinner, to warm me up from the inside out? I first discovered this delicious and easy slow-cooker recipe through a Leites Culinaria newsletter that I subscribe to; it is from a cookbook called Top with Cinnamon, by Izy Hossack, a young chef who also has a blog by the same name (www.topwithcinnamon.com) and it is adapted from a delicious recipe called Shredded Beef Chili with Sweet Potatoes. I looked into my freezer to see what there was to use up and there was a top sirloin grilling steak that I had forgotten. I decided to substitute this steak for the chuck roast (or blade steak) in the original recipe and hoped for the same long cooking result.
Luckily for me, it turned out delicious. And even luckier, because I get to share it with you. And to make it even simpler, I used the slow cooker version of the recipe. The steak was coated in a dry rub of warm and smoky spices. Other than the extra step of sautéing the onions and garlic, I placed all the ingredients directly into the slow cooker, the seasoned steak, onions and garlic, and the lovely aromatic mixture of liquids: strained tomato sauce (passata), cider vinegar, water, and a bottle of beer. After a couple hours of slow cooking, I added white navy beans, cubed sweet potatoes, sliced bell peppers and the remaining dry rub mix and let it stew for a few more hours until the steak was so tender, it shredded with two forks easily.
I added no further toppings. Just a slice of toasted French bread. Try it with tortilla chips, rice or quinoa as suggested in the original recipe. Enjoy!
Chili With Steak and Sweet Potatoes
(adapted from the original recipe Shredded Beef Chili with Sweet Potatoes)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1 tsp chili powder
Rest of ingredients
- 1 1/2 pounds top sirloin grilling steak
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 bottles strained tomatoes (passata)
- 1 cup water
- 1 bottle of beer, preferably a dark ale
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bell peppers, any colour, seeded and sliced into strips
- Mix together the sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, oregano, thyme, and chili powder in a small bowl. Rub all over the beef, reserving at least 1 tablespoon spice mixture to add to the chili later.
- In a large frying pan, sauté the onions in the oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Place the steak into the bottom of the slow cooker and stir in the tomatoes, water, beer, and vinegar. Add the sauteed onion and garlic. Put on low setting for 6-8 hours.
- After two hours, add the sweet potatoes, beans, peppers, and remaining spice mixture. Cover with the lid again and continue the slow cooking for another 4 hours, until the steak is extremely tender.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board and shred the meat using a couple forks. It should be so tender that it shreds easily. Put it back into the cooker and warm thoroughly.
- Serve with rice, tortilla chips, or corn bread. Or just enjoy on its own.