I scoured chili recipes, since I don't have a tried and true one that I use. I admit it that I usually open a can of chili when I want to make chili dogs, chili fries, or well...chili.
This is what I came up with. I am not a spicy-hot kinda girl, so this is nice and mild with lots of flavor. Enjoy it and you may come in second at the church chili cook-off too.
I did get lots of compliments, and even was asked if this was Wendy's Restaurant chili from the drive-thru...That is a compliment too, right!?!
1 large white onion, finely diced
1 large green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 TBS garlic, finely minced
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste or 2 tsp of Crazy Salt
1 envelope mild chili seasoning
1/4 tsp ground oregano powder, found in the Mexican spice aisle
1 46-oz can of vegetable juice (Like V-8)
2 15-oz can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can red beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 4-oz can diced green chilies, mild
1 20-oz can crushed tomatoes in juice
2 bay leaves, whole
2 TBS to 1/4 cup sugar, this takes the acid bitter taste out of the tomatoes
More salt or pepper to adjust the taste. Mine needed about 1/2 tsp of salt for balance.
In a large skillet brown the meat, onions, and peppers until the meat is brown and the peppers and onions are softened. Add garlic and seasonings. I didn't drain my meat, it wasn't very fatty and the onions, peppers, and garlic needed some oil to cook in. I also added no water to the chili seasoning.
While meat and vegetables are browning, add to your crock pot add the juice, beans, chilies, tomatoes, sugar (start with only 2 TBS and add more if needed), and bay leaves. Set on high
You could add at this point black beans, canned/fresh/frozen corn, jalapeno pepper, what ever you want to make it your own. But I just went with the recipe as written above.
Add meat/veggies to the crock pot, stir well. Cover for one hour on high.
Turn the heat down to low for 3-4 more hours, or keep on high for 1-2 more hours.
Check for seasoning, add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed. I added more salt.
Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, and corn chips if desired.
Let me know if you try and and win your next chili cook-off!
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