Now that it’s getting cooler here in Bahrain, I’ve started pulling out my slow cooker more. The other day when a friend (Hi, Sarah) gave me several cans of beans, I decided to make chili.
Here’s how I do it:
Put 1 pound of ground beef (see note below) and plop it in your slow cooker. Add 1 can of black beans, 1 can of pinto beans, 2 cans of kidney beans (I use 1 light and 1 dark), 1 can of black eyed peas, 1 can of diced tomatoes and chiles, and 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn. You can drain and rinse the cans of beans before you add them to the beef if you’d like. I recommend it because it cuts down on the “gassy” factor.
After you get everything in the slow cooker, you can season it with whatever brand of chili flavoring you can find at the grocery store. My mom sends us the Wick Fowlers 2-Alarm Chili mix and I love it! 🙂
Set your slow cooker on high for about 1 hour, and then switch it to low for about 6-8 hours. If it seems too “runny” when you are ready to eat, mix in a few tablespoons of cornstarch or flour and let it sit for about 10 more minutes.
NOTE: I’ve read many online articles about putting raw ground beef in a slow cooker. There seems to be two groups on the matter. The first group thinks that it’s okay because it cooks for so long at a steady temperature. The second group thinks that it’s not okay because the “low” temperature isn’t hot enough to kill the bacteria found in raw beef.
The first few times I made slow cooker chili, I browned my beef before I added it to the slow cooker. The last few times, I’ve gotten lazy and just stuck it in raw but cooked it on high for an hour then lowered the temperature. I think it just has to be a personal decision, but we haven’t gotten sick from raw meat in the slow cooker, so until we do get sick, I’ll do it the lazy way!
After about 6 hours, the chili is “done” and is ready to eat, but after 8 hours the flavors are really melded together and taste FANTASTIC!
I have a large slow cooker and we only eat about 2 bowls of chili at each meal, so after the 8 hours is up, I ladle enough chili to fill a quart sized baggie and stick em in the freezer so I can defrost them as I need them.
If you start to get sick of eating chili, you can pour it over a bowl of rice and eat it almost as a stew. I haven’t tried it yet, but Keith has started requesting it that way, so it must be good!