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Jill’s Crock-pot Chili / Stew

I made a batch of chili yesterday and decided to snap some pictures along the way. Here are the basic ingredients that you will need.  After I had already started, I realized I had forgotten to purchase the Poblano and Jalapeno peppers.  It’s better with these peppers, rather than without, but I wasn’t schlepping back to the store again, so I just added 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and it came out just fine.  It’s okay to make similar substitutions in a pinch.  I don’t ever want you to feel pressured to do things exactly the way I do. When I first posted this recipe I had considered using public domain photos, but none of them really looked much like my chili and, in this case, I felt it would be inauthentic to use someone else’s photo. When I make chili, you can see and taste each individual ingredient.  That’s the way I like it.  It’s not authentic chili, by some people’s standards, but I’m not trying to win any prescribed recipe contest here.  I’m just sharing with you what I like.  There.  That should get the haters off my back. My chili is stupid easy and flavorful.  It’s well seasoned without being overwhelming.  I don’t want my taste buds burned off, thank you very much.  I’m kind of a weenie when it comes to hot peppers.  If you like and can tolerate more, go for it.  As is, this is a dish you can serve to the entire family. The best part is that with minimal prep you can set it and forget it and it’s ready to eat when you are.

The Stuff You Need:

1 – 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes

2 – 15 ounce cans dark red Kidney Beans – or – Black Beans – or – a mix of the two

1 pound of ground Beef or Stew Beef

1 medium to large Onion, diced

1 small red or green Bell Pepper; seeded, pith removed, and diced

1 or 2 Ancho / Pablano Peppers; seeded, pith removed, and diced (for smoky, mild heat)

1 or 2 Jalapeno Peppers; seeded, pith removed, and diced fine (for sharper, more intense heat)***

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 or 2 cloves fresh Garlic, minced

Salt & pepper, to taste

Optional Garnishes: Grated Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese, chopped fresh onion or scallion, chopped fresh cilantro, dollop of sour cream, tortillas.  Additional hot sauce for the braver souls.

Here's How It's Done:

  1. Dump the entire can of tomatoes, juice and all, into the Crock-pot.* Turn the Crock-pot on to high.
  2. Drain the juice from the beans and reserve the juice to add later if the chili gets too dry or thick. Add the beans to the Crock-pot.
  3. Brown the beef in a skillet over medium high heat.  You can put it in the Crock-pot when it’s still a little pink.  It will finish cooking in there just fine.**
  4. Cook the diced onions and peppers in the same skillet as the beef, adding a little vegetable oil (see notes) if necessary.
  5. After the onions and peppers have softened, add the chili powder and cumin.  If the mixture seems a little too dry, you can add a little bean juice now.
  6. Add the garlic last.  Stir and continue cooking until you can smell the garlic.  Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully scrape the onions and peppers into the Crock-pot.
  7. Once everything in the Crock-pot is hot and bubbly, turn the heat down to low, cover it, and go do something else for a while.
  8. Occasionally, stir the chili and add more bean juice if needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  If it looks too soupy, leave the lid off for a while.
  9. Allow Chili to cook on low for 2 to 7 hours.  Garnish, if desired, and serve.****



*If you don’t have a crock-pot you can use a Dutch oven.  Place all prepared ingredients into the dutch oven, cover and cook in a low oven, about 250 degrees for several hours.  Take it out and stir periodically.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

**If you are using lean or grass-fed beef, you won’t have to drain it first before adding it to the Crock-pot.

***If you are concerned about the chili being too spicy, skip the Jalapenos altogether, or start with 1 or even half of one, and add more later if you like.

****On the occasion that I wrote this recipe down (way back in March of 2015), I cooked it for 7 hours.  I added more chili powder, some cayenne and salt – twice – and then it was perfect.

This Chili will keep in the fridge a week or more and re-heats well.  You can also freeze it.

Vegetable Oil: Try My Blue Kitchen flavored cooking oil in Tomato or Ancho pepper for an extra boost of flavor.

Be Inspired By, Explore, or Scroll Past My Other Recipes

Culinary Oils Uses and Recipes

Ancho Oil (17) Basil Oil (10) Lemon Oil (18)

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