Slow Cooker Chili

    • Moderator
    • 1980 posts
    March 3, 2011 5:55 PM GMT
    Hi All-

    I just made a batch of chili (the meat and bean and spice concoction) yesterday and thought I would share it with all of you. While I do make a 5-alarm, viciously-kick-your-butt version, this is much milder. My wife loves it, and of course, if you're into hot and spicy you can always add bottled hot sauce or chiles to your portion when you dish it up.

    This recipe can be done in a slow-cooker or crockpot, but can also be made on the stovetop. If you get up a little earlier in the morning and leave it on LOW in the crockpot, then when you get home after work or whatever, your kitchen will smell wonderful and you'll have a meal all hot and ready to eat. Very nice, especially since Winter doesn't seem to be letting go its grip, at least around here.

    As usual, I am omitting quantities, this is something you can make a small pot of, or a huge cauldron if you wish. It keeps very well, tastes better the second day than the first, and can be frozen in batches if you like.

    Crock-pot or slow cooker or suitably sized pot
    Knife and cutting board


    Ground beef, amt depending on how much you want to make
    Canned beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, whatever you like, including liquid
    Canned, diced, tomatoes including liquid
    Tomato sauce
    Diced onion, medium sized
    3-4 cloves of garlic finely minced, you can also use powdered garlic if you want (heresy, I know, I know)
    Approx 1 tbsp of Chili Powder from the spice rack in the grocery store
    Approx 1 tsp, crushed red pepper flakes
    Pinch or more of oregano
    Pinch or more of cumin
    Pinch of sugar (yes, weird, but it cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    NOTE: You can always add more spices to taste. Better to err on the side of caution and add a little at a time


    Fry the ground beef until browned. If you're going to use a slow-cooker, then you will need a seperate frying pan. Drain off excess fat and set aside.

    In the same skillet, sautee the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add beef to pot or add onions, garlic and meat to slow-cooker. Add remaining ingredients. If using a crock pot, set to LOW and cover and forget about it for several hours. If using a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and stir occasionally for a couple of hours. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

    Serve with a green salad and crackers or tortillas on the side. Beer is always good, but so is iced tea or other beverages. I have no idea what wine would be served with chili, except maybe a sangria. Sides can include, grated cheese, lime wedges (for the juice), raw chopped onions, fresh or canned diced chiles and bottled hot sauces from mild to wild. Enjoy.
    • Moderator
    • 1017 posts
    March 3, 2011 8:45 PM GMT
    Hi Joni Mari,

    Sounds really good. I've tried both crockpot and simmering in a covered stockpot and I prefer the latter. Cumin and sugar are new ingredients to me for Chili.

    If the Chili is a little watery (and I'm certainly not saying yours would be) adding in can or two of refried beans will thicken things up. Also I sometimes toss in crumbled stale taco shells or tortilla chips to give it more "body."


    • Moderator
    • 1980 posts
    March 3, 2011 8:49 PM GMT
    Hi Mellie-

    I love the idea of adding refried beans. How smart is that?. Usually I just cook it down but your idea is much better. Thanks!

    Hugs...Joni Mari
    • Moderator
    • 1017 posts
    March 3, 2011 10:22 PM GMT
    Hi Joni Mari,

    I pretty much think anything you could put in a burrito or a taco is fair game for Chili. Black Olives, mushrooms, Mexican style tomato sauce, spiced corn, almost anything but fish (Chili Con Peces - doesn't do anything for me...)

    I'll have to post my own Chili Recipe one of these days (after I make a batch and write down what I used and did - I make it often enough that I'm sort of on "auto-pilot" during prep and cooking.)

    • Moderator
    • 1017 posts
    March 3, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    A few more Chili ingredients that I've used:

    Diced Red, Green and Yellow Bell peppers, rice cooked with chicken broth and hot sauce instead of water and a topping of sour cream, grated Mexican cheese and shredded lettuce.