- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 pound pancetta, diced (optional)
- 2 pounds flank steak or chuck steak, chopped into small dice, then patted dry with paper towels
- Salt and pepper
- About 1 tablespoon fennel seed (a scant palmful)
- 2 red cherry chili peppers or red Fresno chili peppers, sliced or seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cans cannellini beans or chickpeas (28 ounces), drained
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry wine, red or white or 1 cup Italian beer
- 3 cups beef stock
- Shredded provolone cheese
- Shredded basil
- Finely chopped raw onion
- Chopped fresh mozzarella cheese
- Chopped pepperoncini
Heat the EVOO in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, brown to crisp and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season the steak with salt and pepper and add to the pan in batches to brown.
Combine the pancetta, steak, fennel seed, peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, beans, tomato paste, wine and stock in a slow cooker crock pot, then close the lid. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
Serve the chili in bowls topped with your choice of garnishes.