I’ve been perfecting a chili recipe for awhile now, and I feel like it’s in a particularly good place, so I’d like to share it with you.
It can be made in a crock pot (which I prefer) or on the stove (if you don’t have a crock pot, or if you forgot to remove the bubble wrap packing from the move before you turned it on*.)
Approximately 2 lbs of lean ground beef
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
2 regular sized cans of beans (I like one of dark kidney beans, and one of small white beans.)
1-2 fresh peppers (I’ve used a green and a yellow pepper with much success, but most recently I used just one gypsy pepper, which came out very delicious)
3 large carrots
Approximately 3/4 of a medium sized yellow onion
1 small zucchini
Optional, depending on the size of your pot: 1 small yellow squash
4-5 cloves of garlic.
Either 1/2 packet of chili seasoning or a generous amount of chili powder, salt, black pepper, and whatever else catches your fancy, such as basil, oregano, cocoa powder.)
Start by browning the ground beef in a large pan. While it’s cooking, drain as much juice as possible from the large can of tomatoes (because of all the veggies, the chili will be watery if the juice is not sufficiently drained.) Pour the tomatoes into the pot and add the tomato paste. Drain the both cans of beans (I like to dump them into a colander and thoroughly rinse them) and add the beans to the pot. Stir beans and tomatoes together. When beef is cooked, remove excess grease and add beef to pot. Squish the cloves of garlic with flat of knife blade and mince. Add garlic and half of the seasoning to pot. Stir to get an even distribution of ingredients. Dice vegetables to about 1/2 or 1/4 inch pieces, add remainder of spices and stir until an even distribution of ingredients is obtained.
In crock pot: Cook on high for 2 hours, leaving lid on, then stir and reduce heat to low, cook for a remaining 3-4 hours, until the deliciousness overwhelms you. If you need to cook for a longer time, only cook on high for 1 hour.
On stove top: Cook covered on medium-low heat, stirring every 20 minutes or so, for about 2 hours or until the deliciousness calls out to you.
*Note: If you do manage to heat plastic in between your ceramic and metal crock pot elements, you will notice because there will be the smell of plastic burning. Quickly turn off and unplug the pot, and move the ingredients to a stew pot on your stove top to continue cooking. Quickly remove any unmelted plastic, taking care not to burn yourself. To remove the melted plastic, use a plastic scraper while the pot is warm (but not hot). Alternate cycles of warming and scraping as it cools until it is almost entirely gone. Turn on the kitchen fan, and heat the metal element on high until there are no more fumes (and avoid the kitchen during that time). Wipe off as much of the discoloration as possible.
I would love to hear your variations on chili or your favorite crock pot dish.