I love my chilli con carne–but it’s very a very time-consuming kitchen project so after considering umami in the slow cooker I though I’d try a few shortcuts, with some umami boosts.

I usually buy a big chuck roast and cut it up myself, but I found that my local Harris Teeter had stew mean which was chuck roast already cut up, so I bought a big package of that.  Some time saved there.  I did have to cut the pork, but I bought  spare ribs so that all I had to do was cut them into chunks–another bit of time saved.

One thing that takes a lot of time is browning that much meat, so I thought I try bypassing that step since I still plan to cook it in the conventional oven very slooooowly, letting evaporation and concentration happen so there should get a little browning as the liquid reduces.

I toasted all the spices (cumin and coriander) and the chilli peppers that went into the pot and added a little tomato paste that had been browned.  I know that fish sauce (nam pla) and soy sauce are supposed to boost umami, but I just couldn’t put either of them into the pot.  If this doesn’t work, I guess I’ll try that next time.

The pot of chilli con carne is ready to go into the oven as soon as the oat bread comes out.  So some hours from how, I’ll know if this worked or not….

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