Slow Cooker Chili

This recipe is based on my chili recipe from last month, but instead of chicken, I get all traditional and use ground beef. You could use any meat that strikes your fancy, lamb, pork, venison (that one’s for you Florrie). :O)

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I got 2 cans of kidney beans

2 cans of petite cut tomatoes with zesty jalapeno

and a big old can of crushed tomatoes.

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In a big skillet I browned about 2 pounds of ground hamburger. Now I know what you’re thinking….” if its going into the slow cooker, why cook it in a pan first?” Its just that if you brown things first you get a lot more flavor. You could put everything directly into the slow cooker, sure. But why do it half way? But if you’re pressed for time I shall not judge you. :o)

When the meat is nicely colored I transfer it into my slow cooker and in the same pan saute

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some pretty purple onion. Ain’t she purty?  I do love a purple onion.

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I also chopped up a big old white onion, too, just for kicks.

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To this gorgeousness I added a medium sized red pepper, rinsed, seeded and diced.

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Lets not forget to add 3 cloves of minced garlic!

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and 3 stalks of fresh celery, including the leaves. I find they taste mighty nice.

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at this point you can chuck in your beans (unrinsed), and tomatoes (juice and all). If your pan is too small you can add these directly to the slow cooker. I just like to make sure that I get all the nice browned bits off the bottom of the pan, there’s so much flavor there.

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transfer everything from the pan into your slow cooker and top it off with your big can of tomaotes. Add in some spices like cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Season it however you like. I like extra chili powder and extra cumin.

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don’t forget to put in a hearty squeeze of tomato paste.

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Wow. Isn’t that pretty! Technically its ready to eat now… However, I would advise that you resist temptation and let it slow cook, or simmer on the stove top for at least an hour or two to let the flavors develop. Give it a good stir to get those spices really mixed in, too.

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I started mine around noon and let it slow cook for about 6 hours. By dinner time its good to go, and you can sit back, eat and relax. The cleanup was done hours ago with the exception of a couple of  easy peasy dishes. Have I told you how much I love my slow cooker? Well, I unabashedly state for the record, that I love my slow cooker.  So there.

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