Slow Cooker Texas Chili
Author Note: The addition of a tomato and corn tortilla puree comes from America's Test Kitchen, The Complete Slow Cooker. This step is brilliant because it not only creates a thickening agent for the chili but it also adds a layer of texture to the chili.
3 pounds stew meat
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 12-ounce bottle lager beer
2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 14.5 ounce (1 3/4 cups) canned tomatoes
5 corn tortillas, cut into pieces
2 jalapenos (or serrano) pepper, seeded chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
30 minutes before cooking, evenly distribute 1 teaspoon of salt over the stew meat.
When ready to cook, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a large skillet. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add half of the stew meat. Brown the meat in the canola oil, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the meat and place into a warm slow cooker. Repeat this step for the second batch of the stew meat.
Lower the temperature to medium and add tomato paste and onions. Sautee until browned, about 1 minute. Add the beef stock, beer, tomatoes, bouillon cube and tortilla pieces. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Add the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until it is a thick and smooth consistency.
Pour the tomato mixture into the slow cooker covering the meat. Add the cumin, garlic, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano to the mixture. Stir well. Cover and cook 6-7 hours on high or 9-10 hours on low.
Add the vinegar and stir. Warm through for 5 minutes. Serve warm with cilantro and sour cream.