Steak Chili

Alrighty! Halloween is next Sunday and I wanted to hurry and share one of my fall favorites before the big day. I love to serve this on Halloween, its in the slow cooker for 4 hours before its ready, so its great to prepare ahead of time and enjoy before, after, or during trick or treating. Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of delicious chili on a cold night? Serve this chili with the sweet corn and bacon empanadas. Its great for crowds or just the family, you won’t be disappointed!

For the fajita seasoning:

  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. each paprika, onion powder, dried oregano, and kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. each ground coriander, garlic powder, and black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. each red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper

For the Chili:

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb. flat iron steak, trimmed, cubed and seasoned with kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup tequila (you can use water if you need to)
  • 6 cups (2.5 lb.) diced tomatoes or 2 cans diced (28 oz. each)
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

For the chili garnish:

  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • diced avocado
  • sliced jalapeno chili peppers

Stir together ingredients for fajita seasoning, set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over med-high heat. Brown half the meat in oil; transfer to slow cooker. Brown remaining meat in 1 Tbsp. oil and transfer to slow cooker. Deglaze pot with tequila, scraping up flavorful bits from the bottom. Add to slow cooker.

Add tomatoes, bell peppers, diced onion, minced garlic, and fajita seasoning to slow cooker.

Stir in beef stock and flour. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Stir in beans and lime just before serving. Garnish with Sour cream, jalapeno, cilantro, and avocado.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

*Update* My little brother is serving in Afghanistan and a few months back he came home on leave. We decided to have a huge bash to celebrate his safe return and asked him what he wanted. Pork! They don’t get to eat a whole lot of that in the Middle East! So everyone made pork, something pork. I made this, but because of the time the party was, and not wanting to get up in the middle of the night to start cooking, I started the day before. It was way better. So, if you want to do it the short, still tastes good way, this unedited version will do. But try it my new way! Its much better. Now if I could only figure out a way to ship him a pot of it to enjoy before he gets home for good…


I have a very biased view on slow cookers. I hate them. I know there are people that swear up and down that they are the greatest thing since the microwave oven but I beg to differ. I have one, and have tried about 15 different slow cooker recipes and have hated almost every one of the mushy, soggy, under or over cooked disasters that resulted. I guess if you like to muddle your groceries they are great, but I am a food separatist and slow cookers go against every one of my taste bud’s beliefs. Until I found this recipe, that is.

  • 4 lb. shoulder pork roast give or take a half lb
  • any sort of dry rub
  • 3 onions (2 thinly sliced, one diced)
  • BBQ sauce, homemade or your favorite jar of store bought
  • 1.5 cups of water or beer
  • french rolls or hamburger buns

Put the dry rub on the pork. Thinly slice 2 of the onions, put one onion on the bottom of the crock pot, place in the pork shoulder, add the rest of the sliced onion.  add water or beer. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours*.

*Updated Version: Cover and cook on low for 12 hours.

When the 4 hours are up, strain pork and onions. Discard liquid. Pull pork from bone in large chunks, return meat and onions to crock pot.

Add BBQ sauce and the last onion, diced. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 more hours, stir occasionally and continue to pull the large chunks into bite sized pieces as the meat becomes more tender.*

*Updated version: Cover and cook on low for 2-4 more hours. Stir occasionally, but the large chunks will already be shredded because the meat will be much more tender. After the 2-4 hours, just keep it on warm until ready to serve.

Serve on hearty rolls or buns. Or you could go Mexican, serve with corn tortillas, beans and rice.*

*Updated version: Try on homemade buns and with fresh cole slaw!