Hopefully you had a chance to read my primer on all things slow cooking. If not, what are you waiting for?? Go check it out by clicking on one of these words.
Alright, now that you know the basics of slow cooking, let’s take a look at an incredibly easy to make, yet incredibly tasty recipe. As you can no doubt guess my the title, today we’ll be focusing on CHILI!!
Chili is by far one of my favorite “comfort” foods. Just the thought of sitting by the fire with a big bowl of chili, topped with cheddar cheese and red onions with a side of corn bread is enough to make my heart swoon. Being the good Midwestern boy that I am, I was raised on chili from an early age. And no chili was complete without a batch of cornbread to go with it. Pro tip: take your cornbread and crumble it in the bowl before ladling the chili on top. Result: chili made better.
This won’t be as long and as detailed as most of my posts have been due to one reason – chili is just too damn easy to make. Don’t believe me? Well then, take a look at the process.
The Kitchen Sink, Et Al
As you can see, a good chili has quite an assortment of ingredients. The first step is firing up your cast iron to brown your ground beef. While that’s cooking turn your attention to the veggies and get to work dicing those up. For the onion and red bell pepper, use a rough dice so that the pieces are about the size of a nickel. You want them to be big enough to stand out, but not so large that they’re the only thing you will taste. Finally, get your can opener and start cranking open all those cans.
After your meat is brown, drain off the excess fat and add the meat to your slow cooker insert. Final step is to take all your chopped and canned ingredients along with your spices and put them in the slow cooker insert. Personally, I like to do all of this the night before and keep the chili in the refrigerator until the next morning. I think by getting all the preparation done the night before, the chili ends up with a deeper level of flavor as all of the ingredients get a chance to meet, greet and really get to know each other before getting heated up. Again, this is by no means a required step, but one that I think really helps add a lot to your chili.
It’s Chili Time!
The chili needs about six to eight hours on low to cook. That’s it. No touching, peeking, poking or prodding while it cooks. Just turn it on and walk away until it’s dinner time. Oh, what a lovely dinner it will be.
Lessons Learned: Or What I’d Do Differently Next Time
I’ve made this recipe about a dozen times so by this point, I have it down to a science. I wouldn’t change a thing as it comes out perfectly each and every time. Seriously, you cannot screw this recipe up. Promise.
- 1 pound ground beef, 93/7 mix
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I like red)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 22 ounces tomato puree
- 2 (15 oz.) canned kidney beans, drain the liquid from only one can
- 1 (15 oz.) canned cannellini beans
- Salt, Pepper and Seasonings to taste (I like basil, oregano, chili flakes and paprika)
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet and drain excess fat
- Chop/dice/mince all vegetables
- Open all canned ingredients
- Put all ingredients into slow cooker insert (best if left overnight to meld)
- Turn slow cooker on low and cook for six to eight hours