There's nothing quite like a bowl of hot, hearty chili to warm body and soul on a cold fall or winter evening. And a big thank you to Texas for introducing chili to America! A typical Texas chili is, in its most basic form, a combination of cooked beef and chile peppers. It's one of those dishes that you can experiment with by adding or substituting different vegetables and seasonings. Feel free to add your own personal twist to the recipe with your family's favorite ingredients. Make it with black beans, pinto beans, or small red beans instead of kidney beans. Or omit the kidney beans and add some extra meat. Ground turkey is another option if you're looking to lighten the dish a bit. Or use a combination of beef and pork or sausage. If you want to avoid refined sugar, consider grated or shredded carrots for natural sweetness. If you like lots of heat, add a minced jalapeno pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
The slow cooker makes cooking a breeze, and it also makes it easy to take the finished dish along to a party or potluck. Just wrap the hot crock pot in towels or newspapers to keep it hot and take it along to the event. Plug it in as soon as you get there and serve the chili hot from the crock pot.
The list of ingredients seems long, but you probably have most of them on hand. Plus, they make the chili flavorful and full of great texture.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans red kidney beans (drained)
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes (diced)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (4-ounce) can mild green chilies (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Optional Garnish: Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Optional Garnish: Cornbread crumble or croutons (see below)
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef for about 5 minutes. Add the celery, onions, and bell pepper and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the ground beef mixture to the slow cooker crockery insert and add the remaining ingredients.
- Cover the pot and cook the chili on low for 7 to 9 hours.
- Remove the bay leaf and stir before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Top servings of chili with shredded cheese, cornbread crumble, or croutons, if desired.
- Serve this chili with cornbread, biscuits, or crackers, as desired.
- Cornbread Crumble or Croutons: Crumble or cube a few pieces of cornbread. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and toss gently with a tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Turn once during the baking time. Sprinkle cornbread crumble over bowls of chili, beans, or stew.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||10 g|
|Saturated Fat||4 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||4 g|
|Dietary Fiber||24 g|