Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Fall: Crock Pot Chili!

I have to admit, I do not reserve Chili specifically for cooler weather. I think it tastes great all year round, and since you can make it in a crock pot, it is a great option for the warmer months. But - I do make it with more frequency October through February. Here is what you need:

  1. 2 lbs ground beef (we like 80/20)
  2. 3 15oz cans of beans (I use one light red kidney, one dark red kidney, and one can of black beans)
  3. 2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes (we use Hunts fire roasted with garlic diced tomatoes)
  4. 1 15oz can of tomato sauce (again, we use Hunts - what can I say, we are fiercely anti-John Kerry in this house)
  5. 1 Large Onion
  6. 1 Large Green Bell Pepper
  7. 1 TBSP of Chili Powder (we use smoked chipotle chili powder)

First you dice up your onion and bell pepper. Saute them in a large skillet (you'll want to throw several tablespoons of olive oil on the pan first... ). After they are nice and soft, I dump them straight into my crock pot that I have waiting on standby. In the same skillet I sauteed my onions and peppers in, I dump in my ground beef and brown it. If there is a ton of excess liquid at this point, I try to drain some out before adding the meat to the crock pot. Then dump in everything that is canned. DRAIN YOUR BEANS FIRST! Don't be gross. Throw in the chili powder, and if you like things even spicier (we do) you can shake in a few dashes of cayenne pepper. I also like to add in some salt at this point - (if you haven't already added in enough salt during the sauteing of the veggies or the browning of the beef). 

Oh, by the way - if you have bay leaves - this is another good place to add them. Pretty much anything that can be slow cooked can benefit from a few strategically placed bay leaves.

Now, let the crock pot do the work. I just turn mine to "high" for 4 hours, and then it is ready for consumption! Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top, and you are ready to go!

Delicious AND easy.