I love Halloween! From decorating the house to creating and building costumes it is one of my favorite times of year. Thankfully, Michelle tolerates my compulsion and plays along most of the time. One of our annual traditions is the first pot of chili of the season is always made on the night of trick-or-treat. My recipe for chili has evolved over the years and I’m always making little changes from time to time to adjust the flavor. Here is the current version. Oh, and this year we dressed as Winifred and Billy from Hocus Pocus. Michelle will have more on that later.
Start by cooking a couple of slices of chopped up bacon in a large pan. Add a large diced onion and cook until the onions are soft.
Add a pound of ground beef and two cloves of minced garlic. Continue cooking until the hamburger is browned.
Meanwhile, in a crock pot pour a can of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beans (I used tri-blend this time, but usually I use pinto), and a bottle of beer. Did you know that the FDA considers Corona to be gluten-free? It’s an ongoing debate that you can read a little more about here. If you’re feeding a bigger crowd, add a second can of beans.
Also add three tablespoons of chili powder, one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and a half teaspoon each of cumin and garlic powder. A note about chili powder. There are about a million varieties of chili powder out there and they range from sweet and mild to hot and spicy. Even two bottles of the same brand my vary in their heat level so always error on the side of caution if you are cooking for someone who is sensitive to spicy foods. You can always add more chili powder later in the cooking process. Notice that no salt has been added to the recipe yet for the same reason. This is definitely one trick you don’t want to spring on anyone who tastes your chili!
Add the cooked ground beef mixture to the crock-pot and stir. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or longer if you don’t need to eat so soon.
Taste the chili and adjust seasonings if needed. Add salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or even a little sugar if you need to tone down the acid of the tomatoes or the spiciness down a bit.
We love to add a little Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese and serve this with Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Corn Bread and leftover trick-or-treat candy.
- 2 slices of bacon
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 or 2 cans pinto beans, undrained
- 1 12 oz bottle of beer (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2-3 T chili powder
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- salt, sugar, as needed
Chop the bacon and fry in a large pan. Add onion and cook until softened. Add ground beef and garlic and cook until browned.
Meanwhile, in a lined crock pot, combine remaining ingredients and stir. Pour the ground beef mixture on top, being careful not to melt the liner with the hot ingredients.
Cook on low for several hours to allow flavors to combine. When it’s time to serve, taste the chili. Add salt if needed. This is also the time to add more chili powder or Cayenne pepper if you want extra heat. I often add a teaspoon of sugar at this time to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
Serve with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or cheddar cheese.
Do you have interesting additions to your chili? The bacon and Worcestershire sauce are my newest additions. The bacon adds a little saltiness and well, it’s bacon. The Worcestershire sauce gives the chili a little more depth. Leave a comment below to tell us what unusual ingredients you add to your favorite chili recipe.