Let me guess. Still trapped indoors by COVID-19? Of course you are. And I bet you’re probably hungry. So it’s time to make a simple pot of chili.
Building on my post for pulled pork, here’s a quick-prep recipe for a pot of delicious chili.
You’ll need your crock pot for this one. It makes a pretty large batch.
If you’re weathering COVID-19 solo (like me), go ahead and freeze as much of the yield as you like. Looks like we’ve got at least another month of social distancing ahead.
But (ahem) before we begin, please read the following public service announcements:
Public Service Announcement #1
As everyone knows, we’re all supposed to self-quarantine. The Washington Post has provided this free story, which explains why this makes sense.
Public Service Announcement #2
If you’re reading this blog post, fuck you.
And now …
Break out your slow cooker. It’s time to rock some chili.
This recipe is simple. Total prep time comes to about 20 minutes. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.
Once you’ve got your slow cooker going, you can get right back to the typewriter.
As a bonus, this recipe makes your kitchen smell better than your neighborhood Mexican restaurant.
My neighborhood Mexican restaurant smells awesome.
Unfortunately, it’s closed because of the virus.
This pot of chili is made in their honor.
Let’s Make That Chili!
Please note: I’ve compiled a complete list of ingredients at the end of this post.
1. Brown your beef.
The recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground beef. I prefer beef that’s 80% lean. The extra fat boosts the chili’s flavor.
Grab a sauce pan and put it on your range. Drizzle some oil in the bottom. Add your ground meat and start to brown it over low heat.
This can take place while you move on to other steps in the recipe. Like:
2. Crack open your tomato ingredients.
At one point, I cared very much about which brands of tomato product I put in my chili.
Life’s too short.
It’s chili, folks.
Any brand should do.
For best results, I drain the diced tomatoes. It makes the chili thicker.
Go ahead and add all that to your crockpot.
While you’re at it, turn your crockpot on.
If you plan to simmer your chili all night, say 10 to 12 hours, set it to LOW.
If you want this recipe done in just a couple hours, set it to HIGH.
3. Pour in your salt, Italian spices, and chili powder.
Go ahead and give this concoction a good stir before you:
4. Process your onions and garlic.
This is the part that hurts.
Anyone who’s read this blog knows I cry like a baby when I cut onions.
Chop your onions and garlic as finely as possible while muttering, “Bonasera . . . Bonasera . . . What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?”
Stroke the white cat while doing odd things with your lower lip.
Kidding. Get this done as quickly as possible.
Then add your garlic and onions to the crockpot.
5. Add the browned meat to your crockpot and stir.
Your concoction should now look like this:
6. Put the lid on your slow cooker and go back to writing.
Apart from eating, this is my favorite step.
7. Add your beans about an hour before cooking time is up.
Or add them in the beginning and let them cook the whole time. Whatever.
Some people like firm beans. If so, wait until just before you’re finished cooking to add them.
For best results, I drain the beans. Again, it makes the chili thicker.
8. Serve with cornbread and butter.
Cornbread is easy. I still use the Jiffy cornbread mix my mom used to make when I was a kid.
As with any crockpot recipe, this one tastes MUCH better after you’ve let it macerate in the refrigerator.
But hey. If you can’t wait and want to eat right away, have at it.
Here’s wishing you and your family health and security during these extraordinary times. Happy quarantine!
- 2 pounds ground beef (I prefer 80% lean; more fat = more flavor)
- 2 large onions
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 14 oz jar of marinara or pizza sauce
- 56 oz of diced tomatoes (canned will do just fine)
- 1 14 oz can of white, red, or dark red kidney beans
- Chili Powder (2 tbsp)
- Salt (2 tsps)
- Oregano or mixed Italian spices (2 tsps)
- Vegetable oil (for browning the meat)