Slow Cooker Southwest-Style Chili Over Sweet Potato Mash
Slow Cooker Southwest-Style Chili Over Sweet Potato Mash is full of hearty meats and vegetables. Cooked all day in a slow cooker, the meat is perfectly tender and the peppers, tomatoes, onions and spices are blended together forming a hearty broth.
Confession — This was my first slow cooker chili and my first all meat chili and my first chili with fresh tomatoes! So, I’ve made chili con carne with beans many times. I usually use my Dutch oven and combine hamburger meat with onions, tomato paste and sauce, chili powder, cayenne, mesa and salt. It’s delicious, simple and so prefect tasting topped with cheese and served with crackers! I actually do a weird thing and butter my crackers before topping them with chili. I never knew it was weird until my husband pointed it out. But my mom always did it, and come to find out so does my grandpa, so there you go, a habit formed through tradition.
Now, this Slow Cooker Southwest-Style Chili Over Sweet Potato Mash is a first for me. My husband has been reading all about the importance of reducing inflammation in your body. He wants to live a healthy, happy lifestyle and in order to accomplish that he’s trying to eliminate foods like simple carbohydrates, all process foods and sugars. It’s similar to the Paleo diet. So, since we’re a team, and I primarily do the cooking, I figured we’d try to make the change as a family. Things are always easier when you have a good support system.
So, I was browsing Pinterest (which I just love to do!) and came across some different recipes for Paleo chili. My favorite was a Texas style chili by The Tomato Tart. I loved that she incorporated tons of fresh chilis! Fresh chilis are one of my favorite ingredients.
I made my chili for dinner last night. I put it in the slow cooker in the morning and we took the kids on a field trip to the local animal sanctuary. What was so awesome, is that after an afternoon of sun, walking and playing (for the kids) we got to walk in the door to the welcoming smell of chili. Yum! I just love when I can smell my dinner as soon as I walk in the door. It’s delicious, enticing and exciting that I get to eat soon and I already did most of the work.
During the last hour of cooking I took the lid off the chili, and to help it thicken. While it was doing it’s thing, I prepared the sweet potato mash. Originally, I planned to serve the chili over the sweet potato mash because I love sweet potatoes or yams roasted with Mexican spices. So I figured, since I didn’t want to eat the chili with my buttered crackers or a tortilla, a sweet potato mash might be a delicious and healthier alternative.
I used half sweet potato and half Idaho potatoes cause I didn’t have enough sweet potatoes for our family. So you could go either way for this recipe. (If you’re not a huge sweet potato fan, I’d suggest going the half and half route.) I mashed the potatoes with butter, milk and sour cream. I thought the tang of the sour cream would complement the chili flavor well.
I prefer a slightly thicker chili so I decided to add some coconut flour at the end to thicken it and soak up a bit of the grease from the meat. I chose coconut flour because it’s anti inflammatory. It’s not a refined grain and has a low glycemic index. But if you’d like you could use mesa to get that Texas-style chili flavor, or corn starch or even white flour.
It’s important to remember to temper your flour when thickening. Using a ladle, scoop some of the broth into a liquid measuring cup. Then add your flour and whisk. Then slowly stir the mixture into the chili. This prevents lumps from forming. Keep in mind that if you chose to use the coconut flour start with 1 tablespoon at a time, whisk and add more flour and / or more liquid. Coconut flour expands much more than traditional flour. Also, turn the slow cooker to high at this point and keep the lid off. After you add the flour let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
To serve, scoop some potatoes in a bowl then top with a good amount of chili. I like sprinkle a little pink salt on top, cheese, cilantro, red onions and a dollop of sour cream.
This dish turned out so tasty! The meat was so tender, it had the perfect amount of spice and depth of flavor. I have to say with all the fresh peppers and tomatoes you won’t miss the beans. And the sweet potato mash was a perfect complement, I didn’t even miss my buttered crackers!
Just a side note — I took all these pictures with my iPhone. I wasn’t planning to write a blog about it, but it turned out so good and I learned so much in the process I just couldn’t wait to share. I hope you all enjoy this chill as much as we did.
One last thing – If you’re looking for a base for a tasty green chili my Green Enchilada Sauce would work well. Just serve it with carnitas or add a few chicken breasts to your slow cooker, top with the green enchilada sauce and in a few hours the chicken will be tender enough to shred. It’d make a delicious burrito bowl.