while i adore making complex meals and don’t mind fussing over details sometimes, other days i just want to throw things in a slow-cooker and move on. i don’t do a lot with my slow-cooker (recipes and ideas welcome), but i do really love making a big pot of chili to enjoy for the next few days.
chili can be so simple and is always delicious. i love how easy it is to tailor – i don’t think i’ve ever made it the same way twice. i typically like to use several different types of meat, beans, veggies and lots of tomatoes and spices, but i’ve been known to mix it up with a white sauce base, chicken, salsa, and any number of other additives.
the chili i made today was more of the former – a more traditional black bean chili that only takes a few minutes to prep. no matter how i tinker, chili always seems to taste better the next day, so this is another dish that i like to prep ahead of time and serve whenever i’m ready.
i always encourage experimentation with this dish! the following is the recipe i used this time, but feel free to substitute, play, and throw in whatever you like to make it your own. this chili is quite thick and chunky – the way i prefer it. if you like yours thinner, simply add tomato juice during the cooking process. if you’d rather it be even thicker, you can strain some of the juice from the diced tomatoes.
small package of ground beef
small package of pork sausage
2 cans diced tomatoes with chilis
1 can black beans
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium vidalia onion
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
in a medium saucepan, brown the ground beef and season with the garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. i like to split open two of the sausages and cook the pork in with the beef for more flavor.
in a separate small saucepan, brown the rest of the sausages. once fully cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool.
while these are cooking, place both cans of diced tomatoes into your slow-cooker.
add in the tomato paste and the black beans.
chop of half of the each of the peppers. i was cooking this chili for a guest that wasn’t a big fan of peppers, so i cut these a little larger for her.
chop up half of the onion, and toss both the peppers and onion into the slow-cooker.
by now, the sausages should be cool enough to cut. i like bigger chunks of sausage in my chili, so i tend to cut them a little large.
add the chopped sausage and the cooked beef into your slow-cooker, along with the chili flakes and the ground mustard. give everything a good stir.
cover and turn your slow-cooker on high. leave on high for an hour, then turn to low for at least 3 more. you can serve at any time, but i love to let this cook for quite awhile on low so that the flavors continue to develop.
serve with crusty bread, and with cheese and sour cream if you like.