Do you know that game where you pretend to be stranded on a deserted island and have to pick only five foods to eat for the rest of your life? Well, my husband Mike picked five different kinds of meat. So, this meat-packed Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili is dedicated to the one I love! And, if we are ever stranded on a deserted island together, I’ll happily share my oranges with him because, you know, scurvy . . . .
My Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili recipe was inspired by Danielle Walker’s Slow Cooker Beef Chunk Chili, which can be found in her awesome cookbook Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes To Eat Well & Feel Great. Although the meat is the star of my Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili, the spices are what make this dish sing. Spices matter. Do your tastebuds a favor and invest in the good stuff! I adore Penzeys Spices. They are always free flowing and fragrant with a robust flavor. Simply Organic and Whole Food’s Organic 365 line are also good options. That jar of caked McCormick’s in your pantry that expired in 1992 is not. As a matter of fact, while this dish is cooking, why not take ten minutes to take stock of your spice rack and toss out those old, blah spices that have lost their zing?
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients for Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili. There is very little hands on prep. I like to get everything prepped and measured before starting, and I like to start by prepping the meats. First, cut all visible fat off of a 3 lb. chuck roast and dice the trimmed roast into 1/2 inch cubes. Second, take one package of Applegate Natural Good Morning Bacon (or other Paleo-friendly bacon), dice and set aside. You’ll also need one pound of grass-fed ground beef that doesn’t require any prep.
Moving on to the veggies. Seed and dice three medium green and/or red bell peppers and one large jalapeño pepper. Dice two large yellow onions. Mince four cloves of fresh garlic. (Don’t use pre-peeled garlic or the stuff that comes in tubes. I know that peeling and mincing garlic can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out this YouTube video for a super easy peeling hack that really works. For mincing, I recommend the Garlic Twist, which minces the entire clove, even the skin!) Veggie prep is done.
Measure out 1 1/2 cups of beef stock (homemade beef bone broth is preferred, but Kitchen Basics Original Beef Cooking Stock is a good sub). Open one 6 oz can of tomato paste (make sure to select a brand that doesn’t contain sugar!). Open one 28 oz box of Pomi chopped tomatoes.
In a small bowl, measure out the following spices: 2 bay leaves, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
In a 6 quart slow cooker, add the diced chuck roast. (Reserve the bacon and ground beef for later.) Then, add the diced veggies on top of the chuck roast. Next, sprinkle the spice blend on top. Do not stir.
Finally, add the beef stock, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste on top of diced veggies. Again, do not stir. Set the slow cooker temperature to low and cook for six hours.
In last half hour of cooking, sauté the diced bacon in a separate pan until fully cooked, but not crisp. (Why the separate pan? Rendering the bacon in a separate pan and then browning the ground meat in the bacon fat infuses the meats with flavor without adding all of the fat. It only takes a few minutes, and if you aren’t around in the last half hour of the crock pot cooking, don’t worry. You can do this step later and add the bacon and browned ground beef to the crockpot when reheating.)
Use a slotted spoon to scoop out cooked bacon and add to crock pot. Add ground beef to pan and brown in bacon grease, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out browned ground beef and add to crock pot. Stir and let continue cooking for about 20-30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Bon appetite!
Variation: My husband Mike hails from Cincinnati, the home of world famous Gold Star and Skyline chili houses. You can easily turn my Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili into a Cincinnati “four way” by serving over a bed of spaghetti squash and topping with finely chopped raw red onion and grated mild cheddar cheese.
- 3 lb chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat and cut into ½ cubes
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (80/20)
- 8 oz Applegate Natural Good Morning Bacon (or other Paleo-friendly bacon), diced
- 3 medium red or green bell peppers, diced
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (I like Penzeys Regular Chili Powder.)
- 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin (I like Penzeys India Ground Cumin Seed.)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (I like Penzeys Hungary Sweet Paprika)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (I like Penzeys Sweet Curry.)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups beef stock (homemade preferred)
- 1 28 oz box Pomi chopped tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- Layer all ingredients except the ground beef and bacon in the order listed above in the ingredients list into a 6 quart slow cooker. Do not stir.
- Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.
- In last half hour of cooking, sauté the bacon in a separate pan until fully cooked, but not crisp.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop out cooked bacon and add to crock pot.
- Add ground beef to pan and brown in bacon grease, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop out browned ground beef and add to crock pot.
- Stir crock pot and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves.
- Enjoy your Paleo Two Cows One Pig Chili!