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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dad’s Chili – The crockpot version

Growing up, both of our parents worked outside of the house. My dad’s work schedule started at 5:30 in the morning, which brought him home at 3 just as my sister and I were coming home from school. Since my dad is a traditional family man, he believes dinner should be on the table and everyone eating together at 5:30, which meant he took over the daily cooking chores.

This of course also meant that dad would have to learn to cook more than just things on the barbecue. We grew up before FoodNetwork came on the air, so dad would count on PBS with Julia Childs, Graham Kerr, Jacques Pepin, and Jeff Smith to help him learn new skills and recipes.

One of the things that dad was able to master very quickly was his chili. Never a crockpot kind of guy, he would make his chili over the stove in a huge soup pot. It was started the day before and cooked on low heat for several hours before being refrigerated. The following day, he would take the pot out of the refrigerator and cook it on low for a few more hours before serving it to us for dinner.

Once his girls were grown and out of the house, he passed the recipe onto my sister and me along with the responsibilty to pass along a few containers to him and mom whenever we made a batch. I don’t have the time like he did to watch the food cooking on the stove, so I took his recipe and revised it into a crockpot version. Even dad agrees that my revised recipe tasted just like his stove top version.

1 to 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
2 (14.5 oz) or 1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15.5 oz) can chili beans
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained
2 (15.5 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
1 package McCormick chili seasoning mix
1 (4 oz) can green mild green chilies

Cook ground beef in saucepan over medium heat on stove; drain off excess grease.  Add to crockpot.
Dice up stewed tomatoes and add tomatoes along with all its liquids to crockpot.
Add chili seasoning mix to crockpot and stir.
Add chili beans, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, and green chilies to crockpot.
Stir crockpot contents and set to low.
Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

Serve chili in bowls with diced onions, 3 blend Mexican cheese, hot sauce, and oyster crackers on the side.

** Our family loves to eat the chili the next day instead of the first day it is cooked when all the flavors have a chance to blend together.

After the 6-8 hours of cooking, the chili is divided into freezer/microwave safe individual serving containers. A few containers are put in the refrigerator, reheated, and eaten within 2 days and the rest are put in the freezer. While chili can last at least 6 months in the freezer and then microwaved for quick meals, it usually doesn’t last past a month in our individual households because everyone loves chili.

Creativity Bug ~ Sue


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