According to the calendar, it’s May, but as far as the weather is concerned, it’s late March/early April. We’ve had 16 days of rain straight with one day off and now more rain to come for the rest of the week. And, it’s cold!! I thought I could turn my heat off, but I’ve lowered it to 67°F and my heat is still coming on! I can’t wait for “real” spring. Is that even a thing anymore?
Thanks’ to the seemingly arctic weather, instead of thinking about spring and summer, I can only think of soup and other hearty comfort foods that carry me through fall and winter. A friend of mine was telling me about a dish he was making in his slow cooker, aka crock pot for us old folk, and I thought, “I need to break out my crock pot”. I don’t think I’ve used it since I received it as a gift years ago. Well, the time has come and the dish, chili mac. Chili mac was one of my favorite Chef Boyardee school lunches when I was a kid. Now Miles hates chili because of the beans, so I thought chili mac would satisfy us both. Pasta for him as a filler and bean added at the last minute for me, so I could have the meal from my childhood.
The chili mac was everything that I could hope for. It’s the ultimate in set-it and forget-it aspect of cooking. There was enough that would easily last for a week if I froze the leftovers and more importantly, it would keep me warm and satisfied on these cold 50 degree nights! It seems that by the end of the week spring may actually arrive, so make this now while you can!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cups chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves (, finely chopped)
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 3 tablespoons cup cumin
- 1 14 1/2- ounce cans beef broth
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
- 1/2 cup stout or dark beer
- 1 15 1/2- ounce cans black beans (, drained, rinsed)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces elbow pasta
- sour cream (, for garnish)
- shredded cheddar cheese (, for garnish)
- Slow cooker or large stock pot
- Heat heavy large pot over high heat. Add beef; sauté until cooked through, breaking up meat with spoon, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add onions and garlic to same pot. Sauté until onions are tender, 8 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Sauté until fragrant, 3 minutes. Add to slow cooker with broth, tomatoes, and stout. Cover partially; simmer until chili is thick, stirring often, about 2 hours.
- Add pasta and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the pasta is cooked and slightly firm. Stir in beans. Simmer until heated through. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.