The weather is finally turning colder in the Midwest. Over the previous week it was in the 60s but now we are getting freezing rain and it has dropped into the high 20s. It is amazing how quickly the weather can change. What I love though is that we feel ready for those warming comfort foods as the weather drops. I wanted to make a slightly healthier version of chili for my family so we used 90% lean beef and skimmed off as much fat as we could before adding the beef to the slow cooker. You can also use ground turkey but my family really wanted beef.
The best part for me was that my children made dinner and they both were so very proud of what they had made. It was so simple! I love that they are learning how easy it is to cook and make a variety of foods. They are definitely more adventurous in tasting dishes and trying out new spice mixtures in their cooking.
Because my daughter does not like the smell of cooking meat (I can see her becoming a vegetarian when she is on her own) my son cooked the meat. My daughter opened all the cans and measured the spices for the chili. I think it was a great team effort.
This was deliciously spicy but not too overpowering. You can make it more spicy by adding extra Cayenne powder or a few drops of Siracha sauce as my son did.
I served this dish with a green side salad. There was also sour cream and grated cheddar cheese on the side to help ease the spice for those that wished to add a bit to their dishes.
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef, lean
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large peppers, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 cans beans, your choice – kidney, black, pinto, etc…, drained and rinsed
- 2 (22 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock (plus additional if needed to thin out chili)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Break the beef into little pieces with the side of your spoon. About 5 minutes into browning add garlic, onions and peppers to your skillet. Stir often to keep onions and peppers from browning. Once beef is cooked and onions are turning translucent remove from heat.
- Drain any remaining oil from the pan. Add the beef, garlic, onions and peppers to the slow cooker bowl.
- Add beans, tomatoes, paste, chili powder, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, Cayenne, cumin and sugar to the meat mixture. Stir well.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. Taste and adjust spices about 30 minutes before serving. Add salt and black pepper as needed.
- Serve hot with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired.