First of all, I apologize to those of you who have me in a reader. I’ve started updated my posts from 2009 because the photos went missing from most of them, and I’m afraid I’ll be junking up your readers with all these old “new” posts for the next week or so. Thank you for bearing with me.
Second, remember that snow I mentioned last week? Well, it didn’t stick but it’s snowing like cuh-razy as I type this on Sunday night. And it’s sticking! We took a long walk in the middle of it and Jessie was in HEAVEN. Snow walks are her absolute favorite. She’s definitely got some husky in her blood. Thank goodness she’s past her “pulling” phase where she’d pretend Dennis was her sled and try to drag him by the leash! lol
Anyway, I’m hoping it’s arctic where you live too, not because I wish you ill, but if there is one good thing about cold weather days, it’s the hot and delicious foods you can fill them with. Like this classic chili. I grew up eating plain beans and cornbread every winter and now I don’t feel right unless I make chili or beans and cornbread at least once every winter. I’ve made many recipes, and never the same one twice, but I wanted to track down a recipe that had a classic flavor that would please kids and adults alike (for family gatherings) and that I could rely on as my go-to recipe. I knew that Mel would probably have one for me (she has a whole collection of best recipes and she’s never let me down), and I was right! I knew when I found her momma’s chili recipe this would probably be the one I was looking for.
We all have our different preferences when it comes to chili. I love a lot of veggies–bring on the celery, tomatoes, onion, green pepper (and red, yellow, and orange pepper, for that matter) and lots of beans. I do like some ground beef and spiciness, but it’s not essential. But I think this is a chili that anyone would like, which is exactly what I was looking for. I do believe this is my favorite chili now, even without an over-abundance of veg! So delicious.
The original recipe doesn’t have any veggies save the onions in it, but I’m a big Wendy’s chili fan, so I went ahead and added some celery and green pepper to mine to give it a similar feel. Though I thought the taste was excellent with them in, I’m sure it’s just as excellent without so leave them out if veggies in chili isn’t your thing. I also adapted the recipe for the crockpot (less liquid so it doesn’t get too runny), but if you want the stovetop directions you can get them from Mel’s site here.
Oh, and by the way, guess what I did with the leftovers? I added some more cans of stuff to bulk up the amount (canned chili, salsa-style roasted tomatoes) and stirred in some chopped all-beef hot dogs, then sent it with Dennis to the family Christmas party along with shredded cheddar cheese to garnish it. I didn’t get to attend due to my work schedule, but Dennis brought home an empty crock so I guess the “chili dog chili” went over well! :)
2 medium onions, diced
2 teaspoons salt
2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large cans (29 ounces each) pinto beans, drained
46 oz. (one large can) tomato juice
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet with the salt. Drain grease. Add to a large 6-quart crockpot, then stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4.
Recipe source: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe