Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Jackie's Easy Slow Cooker Red Chili
Chili seems like such a simple recipe, and it truly is. However I have learned, by way of enjoying many Chili Cook-offs, that nearly no two are alike! Everyone has adopted their own methods and ingredients, whether working entirely from scratch, or taking advantage of commercial products to keep things easy.
As a busy mom, I generally gravitate to my White Chicken Chili, but every now and then I crave a big pot of old fashioned red chili.
After tasting a lot of different chili recipes, I've definitely learned what I really don't care for in chili. I don't want corn or onion for starters, which seem to be common in chili recipes. And it has to have some cheese and preferably sour cream for topping. You can eat it with crackers or cornbread, sure - but I'll take a good flour tortilla to scoop up every last bite.
Chili was something we had often in my childhood. I think it was a simple 'end of pay period' type of meal. I learned a few tricks of the trade from my mom who raised four of us while working full time, that I feel sets it a bit apart.
This isn't 'from scratch ' - this is the sort of dump and cook recipe that has minimal prep time, and will provide a hearty meal for several people using mostly items you likely have in your pantry already. I mean, it's basically a bunch of canned goods with the addition of a pound of ground beef.
To be honest, it probably wouldn't hurt to exclude the meat entirely if need be, making this entirely a pantry meal.
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can dark red Kidney Beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can seasoned Chili Beans
1 can diced tomatoes (Rotel gives it some nice heat)
1 can Hormel chili (No Beans)
1 package chili seasoning
1 lb ground beef
I am aware that you CAN put raw meat in the crock pot, but the idea always makes me a bit squeemish, so I prefer to precook. So on that note--
1, Brown ground beef in a pan and add to crock pot.
2, Open all cans and add to crock pot. DO NOT DRAIN ANY,
3. Mix together, then add seasoning packet. No need to add liquid as the cans have provided plenty.
4. Put on low and let simmer for 3+ hours. Everything is already cooked - you're just letting the flavors have plenty of time to meld.
That's literally it. It is ready to eat. However, here are a few tips:
As you can tell my picture and ingredients don't match up entirely. I didn't have any light kidney so instead of making less, I chose to add a can on Cannelini (white kidney beans) instead. It really made no noticeable difference aside from visually. Use whatever beans you have on hand - black beans work well here, too. Using a variety of beans keeps it interesting.
I usually use a HOT chili seasoning packet but again was out, so it wasn't as hot as I normally make it. This is where personal bowling comes into play.
If it isn't hot enough, add Chipotle powder, hot sauce, cayenne or red pepper flakes to spice it to your liking. Hot sauce and pepper flakes can be added to individual bowls, so that everyone can enjoy their chili to their own taste.
To me, it just isn't right without shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream!
As I mentioned, I prefer to dip a tortilla into mine, but my husband likes to crunch up a million crackers into it until it is sludge.. I suppose there is no wrong way....except his. ;)
Total side note review – this was my very first time trying crock pot liners. I can never go back. Talk about the simple life!