Sometimes, you want the same old comfort food…but not quite the same. With that in mind, I present a twist on a recipe I posted previously: Cheesy Chicken Chili. This redo came out of dh’s desire for some BEEF UP IN THIS JOINT, which made for a rare “beef twice in one week” for me. I’m not anti-beef, but I just don’t eat a ton of it. I could give up red meat entirely and not mind, but chicken and fish…well, that’s a whole other story.
Anyhoo…dh wanted beef, and I wanted something that was in the “stick to your ribs” category, so I suggested that we take Ye Olde Cheesy Chicken Chili recipe and beefify it. The good news is that it worked brilliantly. It had a nice flavor, the beef was insanely easy to shred (far easier than the chicken breasts, as a matter of fact), and it’s one of those recipes that takes no time to set up and no time to deal with. This is ALWAYS a win in my book, since I’m a big believer in not getting so fancypants with the crock pot recipes that you essentially nullify the convenience of using it during the work-week.
Do you have to use the specific beans I list below? Nope. The issue is that the great northern beans from the chicken recipe won’t stand up to the beef, so you need beans with a little more oomph and flavor of their own. You may also be able to dial back the salsa a little, but I wouldn’t go less than about 16-20oz of salsa. Given the heft of this particular meal, it can go fine in a bowl of its own, or it can go on a plate (as seen below), with chips, a soft tortilla, rice or whatever you choose to use as an accompaniment. Also note that I didn’t add the corn that’s used in the original chicken recipe, either; it seemed like that would get completely lost with the beef, so I put the corn on the side (in this case, it’s Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Scene).
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 8-10 hrs on LOW or 4-5hrs on HIGH, plus 20 mins on HIGH
1-1/2 lbs top round steak (or other boneless beef that’s not just a complete layer of fat)
24 oz salsa
15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz shredded cheddar (or cheddar/jack) cheese
Make it Happen
1. Spray the inside of a 4qt crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Add a small amount of salsa to the pot, to coat the bottom, then add the steak and the remainder of the salsa.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10hrs or on HIGH for 4-5hrs.
4. When the initial cooking time is up, remove the beef from the pot and place on a plate for shredding.
5. Add the drained and rinsed beans to the crock pot, then stir well to combine. Re-cover the crock while you shred the beef with two forks.
6. Add the shredded beef and the cheese to the crock pot, then stir well to combine.
7. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 mins, then serve!