Mid-November is crock pot season so I’ve been breaking out the Little Appliance That Could and making lots of stews and casseroles. Tonight I made some slightly more than mild chili.
Forget apple pie, it doesn’t get more American than Chili. Created in San Antonio in the 1800s, the ingredients–beef, peppers, salt–were dried and bound in to bricks to be easily boiled and consumed by cowboys over campfires. So it makes sense, then, that beef was the original star of this dish: It was readily available and cheap in southern Texas.
Chili is one of those foods that everyone has an opinion on, though. It evolved based on cheap ingredients and geography. For true fanatics (Texans), chili is meat-based and doesn’t contain beans. Or tomatoes. Ever. For Louisville, it not only contains beans, it also includes spaghetti noodles and is served with toast and peanut butter. For me? Beans are optional, pasta is banned… and peanut butter? Are you kidding me?
Here is how I like my chili; Matt ate three bowls of it for dinner tonight. It is that good. Makes about 8-10 servings…or if you’re like Matt and have three bowls for a serving, I guess it makes 2.5 servings…
Top with nothing–or sour cream and cheddar. Your call. Serve with freshly made corn muffins topped with local (REAL) honey.
Crock Pot Chili
2lbs ground beef
1-2 cans pinto, kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed (or soak overnight 2/3cup dried beans per can you want to substitute)…or just leave ’em out. You wont hurt my feelings.
1.5-2 large onions, diced
2 cans (15oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies with liquid
1 can (15/16 oz) tomato sauce
3 cups water
2TBSP chili powder
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cloves minced garlic
Grease a 5-6qt slow cooker. Saute the onion in the butter; brown the ground beef. Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours (add additional water if you plan to cook closer to 8 hours or longer).