What's not to love about chili, especially at this time of year. And this one is a snap to prepare – just a palmful of spices tossed in with short rib ground beef and the usual supporting cast of tomatoes and black beans. No grinding dried chiles, no trekking to grocery stores all over town looking for hard-to-find spices. And the best part is that it uses the slow cooker – just 15 minutes to prep and it's done.
Heat a large sautee pan on Medium-High heat, and add the oil.
Add the diced onion to the pan and sautee for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the ground beef short rib and cook, breaking up the meat until it’s no longer pink.
At this point, the short rib mixture will have released a fair amount of oil into the pan – drain this off before continuing (I took a lid from a larger pot, covered the majority of the sautee pan, and poured the fat off into a bowl)
Add the cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, and salt & pepper, and sautee for one minute longer.
Add the mixture to your slow cooker, and pour the tomatoes and tomato sauce on top. Stir to combine.
Set the slow cooker to low, and let it simmer for 6-8 hours; Alternatively you can cook for 3-4 hours on the high setting.
About half an hour before serving, check to see how much liquid is in the crockpot – it you have too much, take the top off and continue to cook while some of the liquid evaporates; alternatively, if you need a little more liquid, add some water to the chili and continue to cook.
About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve the chili, add the black beans.
When ready to serve, check the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
Ladle into bowls, topping with a spoonful of sour cream, and a few sprigs of cilantro.