Crockpot Harissa Meat Chili (Savoring: The Practices of Eating)
I hope you've been following along with my practices of Eating series. It's a slow but steady wins the race sort of series, which hopefully will be done by the end of May. Yet, seeing that my word of the year is Peace, and combine that with life being too short to miss, the word 'savor' keeps spilling out.
Because, Caprice is still not anywhere close to sleeping through the night. Temper tantrums and emotional meltdowns are still happening everyday in our home. The ability to savor and not scarf is a hard thing when life is seemingly tumultuous, and the only way you're going to eat is by cramming food into your mouth, while rushing out the door.
But, I've been caught off guard when people ask, "So, has she (referencing Caprice) been easier, or your harder baby?," as they give me that empathic nod. I think, "well, hard because she's not sleeping--yes! Hard, because she only likes to be held by Ben or myself--yes!" Still, I answer, "no--she's not hard, the transition of adding three has been the hardest, but I find myself savoring her."
It's easy to savor, when you know it's your last.
We are pretty certain that we are not having anymore babies. With that knowing, my soul clings to the gift more readily and easily. I savor it.
And so with eating with a savoring, longing heart...
- we pause to thank the Creator before we eat, in order to teach our bellies a patient longing for what is to come.
- we regularly eat dinner, trying our best to take in not only the flavors, but each others day.
- we savor conversation, time together
- sometimes, we eat out at my favorite cafe, and I dissect the food, in order to taste each ingredient thoughtfully placed
- I want to savor the food I eat, my family, my friends as though it's all a gift I'm given at this very moment.
As I'm holding Caprice, I look at her and know she won't be six years old, still nursing and sleeping in our bed.
Rather, I look at this meal melded in a crockpot. A little work done beforehand, by cutting out cubes of meat from the chuck steak. Grinding black pepper, sprinkling salt, minced garlic and onion flakes on top. Having Tay right there helping me pour the diced tomatoes on top, and telling her to smell in the harissa. Oh the harissa. There are varying forms of it with chilis, cumin, coriander, caraway, garlic, paprika and cinnamon.
Either way, this meal, all front end work allowed me to relish time with my girls, knowing the meat was stewing for us to enjoy come dinner time. Serving up bowls with meaty chili, soft sweet potatoes and slightly cooked kale to find a bit of heat from the chilis and woody, sweet finish of the cinnamon caused us to truly savor only the way meat cooked all day can.
Crockpot Harissa Meat Chili (printable recipe)
This little number was super easy, and did I mention I'm slightly obsessed with harissa? If you don't have roasted sweet potatoes on hand (what, you mean that's not normal?), you can either roast them whole at 400 degrees for an hour. Or, simply peel some sweet potatoes and add cut them up and add them to the pot to cook alongside the beef.
3-4 lbs cubed chuck steak, or chuck roast
1 1/2 Tb harissa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp garlic, I used dehydrated garlic granules
1 Tb onion flakes
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
Washed & cut up kale, make it easy and buy pre-washed, pre-cut Organic kale from TJ's
Sweet potatoes, roasted, skin off and cut into cubes.
This is incredibly easy. Put the meat in the crockpot. Then, add all the seasonings.
Next dump in the diced tomatoes and water. Stir it around. Put the lid on, I cooked mine
on high for six hours, because the low cook for eight hours would take too long.
Once it was cooked, I already had pre-cut and pre-washed kale from Trader Joe's, which I
added a couple handfuls to the crockpot. I stirred it around, in order to soften and cook it
a bit with the heat of the chili. Then, I had two roasted sweet potatoes, which I simply
cut up and added to the pot.
Dinner was served and it tasted magnificent!