Chili was one of the first things that my mom showed me how to make while I was in college. It’s so simple, and can be modified any way that you like.
In my first post-college apartment, my parents gave me a slow-cooker, and chili was the first thing I tried to make with it. It blew my mind! I could leave the house while it cooked and let the flavors really develop, and the beans were much more tender. Now I always make my chili in the slow-cooker. I usually eat it with rice, or try it with baked fries for a healthier version of my favorite food, chili cheese fries.
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 14 oz can of pinto beans, drained
1 14 oz can of kidney beans, drained
1 14 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 chipotle in adobo
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c water
Serve with any combination of the following:
finely chopped red onion
sliced green onion
grated cheddar cheese
Add all ingredients to slow-cooker. Cook on High setting for 4 hours or Low setting for 8 hours. Stir and break up the beef with a wooden spoon. Taste and add additional seasoning as necessary. I sometimes add a bit of hot sauce (Chipotle Tabasco is my favorite for chili) or barbeque sauce at this point.
Serve with any or all of the desired toppings.
Other simple chili variations:
- Use ground turkey or pork instead of beef.
- Use white beans, black beans, or garbanzo beans.
- Add beer instead of water.
- Add chocolate! A handful of chocolate chips (or 1/4 c if you have big hands) add a little sweetness/richness to the chili.
- Add more vegetables – Try corn, mushrooms, or bell peppers.
- Use diced tomatoes with green chiles (instead of fire-roasted) and omit the chipotle in adobo, for a less smokey chili.