Throw-it-together Chili!

Made chili for tomorrow’s shared meal at church. I didn’t have the ingredients for my usual “Kid-Friendly Chili” recipe (will have to post that later; it’s past my bedtime and I shouldn’t even be posting this!) so I sort of went by guess and put together a pot of chili on the stove, then transferred it to the crockpot to cook on “low” overnight, let the flavors blend. We’ll see how it turns out.

Anyhow, here’s what I had on hand:

1 lb. (about 2 c.) dried kidney beans

Did the quick-soak method. (Wash beans, pick over, put in pan and pour in 6 or 8 cups hot water, bring to boil, boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let sit an hour. Pour off soaking water, add more hot water, and simmer 2 hours.)

Did you know that dry kidney beans can be toxic when cooked in the crockpot? Evidently the slow cooker doesn’t get hot enough to cook away the toxins. Since I didn’t have canned beans, I cooked dry beans on the stovetop. They didn’t require a whole lot of attention, so I got a few things done around the house while they were soaking, and then simmering.

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped (I might’ve added more, but I’m low on garlic)

Sauteed these together, breaking up the meat. Since I pulled the ground beef out of the freezer just before I started cooking, I put it in a pot over medium-low heat, covered, and occasionally went back to turn the meat over and break it up a bit. As soon as it was thawed and starting to cook, I added the onions and garlic. Once the beef was browned and the onions were translucent, I added…

1 TBS chili powder (might have been more — I poured out the last of a jar of “Mexican chili powder” into the pot. It looked like maybe a tablespoon, less than two, probably)

1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Stirred the spices into the meat-onion-garlic mixture and let it simmer together for a minute or two. Then added the tomato products I happened to have on hand.

28-oz can crushed tomatoes in juice
28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
(I sort of mashed these up myself)

Then I added the cooked beans. I probably ought to have drained the bean broth, but I didn’t. (Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.) The bean broth, more than I realized, made the chili watery, so I added a large can of tomato paste, my mom’s favorite tomato-based-sauce thickener.

Middlest was my taste tester. She found it rather bland. Since it’s simmering in the crockpot overnight, I’m not going to correct the seasoning until morning. I don’t remember if chili and cumin intensify in flavor over long cooking, or if they diminish, but I don’t want to take the chance of overseasoning the chili.

Will let you know how it turns out!

What’s your favorite chili recipe?


4 responses to “Throw-it-together Chili!

  1. This is a great recipe! Kudos for making it up as you went along- that’s always the best way anyway 😉 Here’s my fave recipe- and I always serve it with corn casserole (guilty pleasure)
    Thanks for posting! 🙂

  2. HA HA. I have done that for a lot of things. They don’t always turn out that well. lol

    I am stopping by from the Blog Walk. I am behind, but trying to catch up.

    I am now following you.

    Would love a follow back.


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