2000s Recipes + Menus

Chile con Carne with Cheddar Scallion Biscuit Topping

  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:4 to 12 hr (depending on slow cooker setting)
September 2009
The great thing about slow cookers is you can drop everything in the pot and not think about it until dinnertime. The drawback is that you lose out on the enormous flavor you get from first browning the meat and vegetables. To compensate, add “power” ingredients that produce a similar depth—here, that means cocoa powder, canned chipotles in adobo, and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. They add a rich savor to a chili that is chock-full of beef chuck, kidney beans, tomatoes, and onions. Fluffy Cheddar scallion biscuits, the dish’s crowning glory, make this a true one-pot meal.

For Chili

  • 2 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned tomato purée
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For biscuit topping

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • Equipment:

    a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker

Make chili:

  • Stir together all chili ingredients in slow cooker and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Make biscuit dough:

  • When chili is about 1 hour from being done (see cooks’ note, below), make dough. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheese and scallions with a fork, then add milk and stir until a soft dough forms.

Cook biscuits:

  • Remove lid from slow cooker and use a ladle to skim off as much fat as possible (discard fat). Drop biscuit dough onto chili in 6 mounds. Cover with lid and continue to cook until biscuit topping is cooked through (biscuits will not be browned).
COOKS’ NOTE: If slow cooker is on a high setting, biscuit topping will take about 45 minutes to cook. If cooker is on a lower setting, it will take about 1 1/4 hours to cook.
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