Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baby, it's chili inside

It's chili inside my belly, is what it is.
Once a month, I make a big crock-pot full of chili. I've never used a recipe and just adapted whatever my mom told me to do. Thought I'd share!
You'll need a crock pot. I usually use 2 cups of broth, 2-3 cans of beans (just depends on how beany I'm feeling), and a big can/glass jar of tomato puree. The puree is essential to my chili; I recently tried pureeing diced tomatoes instead and it was boring.

Then, I chop up one big or two small bell peppers or other sweet pepper variety, one small onion, and either three jalapenos or one serrano. Honestly, I use different hot peppers every time so just trust your gut, literally, depending on how spicy you want it. Just be careful with those serranos. One is plenty. And WEAR GLOVES.
I sautee the chopped vegetables in oil on medium heat (sometimes I use olive, sometimes coconut) until they're crisp-tender. I usually sprinkle some chili powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, and salt on it while it's sizzlin'. Then I set them aside.

I usually add some meat to my chili. What I do is go to the farmers market and get a pound of pastured stew beef. Then I cut it up while it's still a little frozen (easier that way) into 1/4  pieces. I'm not a fan of ground beef, and this way, I really get to experience the texture and tenderness of the meat. And the taste! I am thoroughly convinced that this chili would be fine without it, though. I sautee this in the same pan with the same spices until it's nearly done.

Then, I dump all the veggies, the meat, the entire can of puree, and all the beans into the crockpot. I usually add a little broth, add spices, add broth, and add spices until I end up with the desired soupiness and spiciness. The spices are a blend of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and sea salt. I usually find that if it doesn't have enough umph, it needs both more cumin and more salt.
Here's what it looks like before the liquids are added.

Then I cook it on low for...ready? 11 HOURS. So I either do the prep the night before and throw everything in as soon as I wake up, OR I start it a few hours before I intend to go to sleep and let it cook overnight.
Serve over short-grain brown rice and ENJOY! So good. Had some today.

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