What's for dinner? Only the most awesome chili in the universe! I mean, I hate to brag. And I have know some pretty awesome chili in my time. It seems like everyone, in fact, has their own special chili. But mine might be best. It is simple and delicious and awesome. And while part of the reason my chili is so awesome is because of my awesome self-basting cast-iron crock pot...well it was fairly awesome even when I was just slow cooking it. One more time- awesome.
You start off by browning some ground beef with onion and garlic in the bottom of your awesome (I swear that was the last time) crockpot/other kind of pot.
Then you add some diced tomato (in a can, if you are like me and cant find any tomatoes that don't depress you) and a box of beef broth. You could always use water of course but the broth makes it extra thick and delicious. If your husband isn't a total wimp (like mine) you can also add a jalepeno, or a half a jalapeno, for spice. Better go less is more, though, you can always add later and it will get spicier and spicier as it cooks.
Of course as soon as you've got some liquid in there you have to add the beans. I have a variety of beans in the house at any given moment, but Josh and I's favorite is to use red kidney beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Like 2/3 kidney to 1/3 garbanzo. And even though that is what is featured in THIS picture, the chili shown below is actually made of kidney and black beans, lol.
Now a note on beans: DO NOT use canned beans. Gross. If you use canned beans then you will NOT have awesome chili, I'm sorry. You might have ok chili. I will go that far. But canned beans are almost nutitionless and full of high fructose syrup. Nasty.
Last throw in your spices. Chili powder and cumin. I tend to use a LOT of chili powder. I mean, I would say put in 1/4 cup for mild even, more like 1/2 cup if you like it hot. And the cumin you dont have to go quite so crazy on. Maybe 2 tablespoons? Its hard for me because I dont measure, but that sounds right. Just use this as an excuse to taste....a lot.
Now you just have to let it simmer all day, checking it every now and then to see if you need to add any water. 6 hours simmering makes good chili. Dont have all day? Well dont worry, you dont have to use canned beans! If you just soak your dried ones overnight then they will get soft enough for a shorter cooking time.
I actually do that with my oatmeal. If you soak steel cut oats in boiling water overnight they only take like 5 min to cook in the morning. Nice.