Friday, February 1, 2013

Classic Chili

Having a family was truly what motivated my first interests in cooking. Until I was a stay at home mom for a year, I worked 6 nights a week and I couldn't tell you what my husband actually ate for dinner.

 Oh how things have changed so much in just a few years. Now, I still work at night,  but only a few nights a week. And, the control freak inside me won't allow me to let my husband feed himself and the kids for those 3 nights. At least twice a week, I make them dinner before I go to work. 
  It isn't that I don't trust my husband to take care of our little guys. I don't honestly think he would feed them fast food for an entire weekend either. It is just that there is this guilty part of me (that surely is just a mom thing), that even though my voice of reason tells me it is ridiculous- I really think I have to make them dinner.

 So, I want to share with you my family's favorite make ahead meal- Chili in the crock pot. My crock pot and I are very close friends, and if you don't have one that is okay too. You can still make this chili!  This is in fact just slightly tweaked from my dad's chili recipe so that I can make it in the slow cooker. 
 This is everything you could want in a chili- 2 kinds of beans, a nice smoky sauce, and ground beef. It is in my opinion the classic chili. Full of flavor, and achieving a comfort food status that could make any cold winter night feel cozy.

 Keep in mind, that I did make this before leaving for work last night, so the last pictures were taken by  my husband.

This chili starts pretty basic, with sauteed onions, ground beef, and a little seasonings.

 While your meat and onions are cooking, be a multi-tasker(because you're awesome like that!) and mix together your tomato sauce with your spices, and sugar. Also, if you are a Crazy Person like me- make sure you buy 8 8oz cans of tomato sauce instead of one big one, so you can save around $2.00........ 

When your ground beef is finished cooking, add it into the chili- if it looks greasy drain it before putting it into your sauce...but most the time I don't feel the need to do that.

Cook this mixture on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-3. About 30 minutes before you want to serve your chili add in the pinto and kidney beans. Adding them at the end will prevent the beans from burning.

 Serve this chili up with whatever you like- Cheese and Saltines are faves for us, but you couldn't go wrong with hot sauce or Fritos!


Classic Chili 
Adapted from my Dad's chili recipe


  • 1 medium white onion (chopped)
  • 1-1/12 pounds ground beef
  • 64 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cans pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)


In a large skillet brown the onion and ground beef, season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon chili powder.

 While the meat is cooking stir together in medium or large crock pot the tomato sauce, remaining spices and sugar. Mix well.

 Add the meat into the crock pot, draining away grease if needed.
 Stir and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours stirring every so often. Add beans into the chili 30 minutes before serving, stirring occasionally. 
 Serve with your favorite garnishes on top- shredded cheese, crackers, fritos, sour cream etc...

Alternate cooking method-
 Prepare as stated, putting the sauce into a large pot on medium- low heat instead of the crock pot. Add in cooked beef and onions, and beans and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour stirring often until nice and thick. 

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