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Smoky Beef Brisket and Bean Chili Topped with Nachos for the Slow Cooker

Nachos Topped Smoky Beef Brisket and Beans Chili for the Slow Cooker

Adapted from Williams Sonoma
Course Entree
Cuisine chili
Author TheSpicedLife


  • 2-2 1/2 lbs beef chuck or brisket, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • smoked salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 T bacon fat, divided
  • 1-2 t smoked salt
  • 4 medium onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 sweet bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t chipotle powder
  • 3 T smoked paprika or chipotle powder, depending on heat tolerance
  • 2 T New Mexico chile powder
  • 5 T ancho chile powder
  • 2 T (heaping) ground cumin
  • 1 T Mexican oregano
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or equivalent cooked)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (or equivalent cooked)
  • 30 oz additional cooked beans of choice (I used a frozen mix of white and brown--canned is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal (I used blue)
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz Monteresy Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • Guacamole for serving
  • Sour cream for serving


  1. Season the beef generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat over the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and brown it on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of bacon fat and repeat with the second half of the beef.

  2. Remove the beef and add the remaining 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add the onions with a pinch of smoked salt and cook until it is starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and bell peppers with another pinch of salt and cook for another 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scotching or sticking. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the chili powders, cumin, oregano and coriander and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the beef, broth and tomatoes, and add smoked salt and black pepper to taste, keeping in mind to add less salt, like a pinch or two, if you are using salted tomatoes and/or broth.
  3. Place the insert on the slow-cooker base, and cover and cook on high until the meat is tender, about 5 hours; during the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in all of the beans and cornmeal.
  4. Taste the chili for additional smoked salt or black pepper.
  5. Place the rack in the lower third of your oven. Top the chili evenly with the tortilla chips and sprinkle with half of each kind of cheese. Place the insert in the oven and turn on the broiler, on high. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Serve with the remaining cheese, guacamole and sour cream for garnishes.