I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some snow. It was an unseasonably warm December in my neck of the woods, which may be why I never got in my normal holiday mood (how do you people in the south get into the holiday spirit???), but now it’s just starting to dip its toes into the cold stuff. If only we could add a little snow, I’d be satisfied. I know it goes against the whole ‘I love my job’ bit, but I could even use a few cozy snow days to decompress.
Since the glee of tunneling through the snow of childhood faded and I had to start shoveling my car out of the heavy stuff, I’ve never been much of a snow person. Let’s not even talk about how people start to drive like maniacs the moment a flurry hits their dashboard. But this year I would like to be. I want to spend a bit of time romping through it with the dog, who loves the stuff, building a snow man or maybe even driving to the mountains and trying on a pair of skis for the first time. I bought snow pants last year and it was spring before I knew it. I used to ice skate, how hard can skiing be? (Said by someone who bruises very easily).
So while I hunker down and hope for some winter weather that the forecast is not predicting any time soon, I can’t help but drool over this perfect cold weather meal. My favorite hearty chili. I’m giving you this recipe right from the book, and not telling you what I do to tweak it. I know there will be some hate mail, but chili is all about those personal tweaks, so take it and make it your own.
- 4 lbs ground chuck
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, untrained
- 4 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 teas salt
- 1 teas black pepper
- 1/2 teas paprika
- 1/2 teas ground red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (16-ounce) cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sliced ripe black olives
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, work in batches to brown the ground chuck. Crumble, drain and place in a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
Stir in the onion through kidney beans.
Cover and cook on High for 5 to 6 hours or on Low 7 to 8 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with desired toppings and some cornbread. Told ya it was simple.
This chili isn’t lying. It makes a huge batch. Be prepared to have some friends over or make space in the freezer.