It’s about this time of year that I have to start filling up my freezer with healthy food on the off-chance that we might get snowed in for a few days. And if the snow doesn’t happen, then this chili will get you through a couple of cold days anyway. It is also one of the things I really want to eat when I have some kind of winter cooties and don’t want to cook. So there’s a few reasons why I make this in the massive batch that I do: this is a recipe that will take care of 5 lbs of ground beef!
The sheer size makes it perfect for a large crock pot batch, but even then I have to cook down the veggies a little before everything will fit. If you want to skip that extra sauteing step, you can, by cutting the recipe down to about 4 lbs of meat (depending on the size of your crock pot) and scaling the seasonings appropriately, but the catch is that it will turn out to be more watery or soup-like because of the water in the vegetables. Whatever you do, though, make as big of a batch as you can stand: it’s just a great freezer standby.
This turns out what - to me - is a medium / hot chili. But please be sure to modify the heat level to your tastes. If you want it cooler, I would suggest cutting down on the dried ancho chili powder first.
Big Batch Classic Crockpot Chili
- 5 lbs ground beef
- 2 large onions, diced
- 3 bell peppers, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and diced
- 6 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and diced
- 2 tbl ground cumin
- 2 tbl oregano leaves
- 2 tbl ground cilantro
- 2 tbl garlic powder
- 4 tbl ancho chile powder
- 30 oz drained diced tomatoes
- ½ cup beef stock
- Optional: 2 tsp arrowroot made up in water, 1 square 100% cacao chocolate
- Brown your beef in batches, draining any excess fat before putting it into the bottom of the crock pot. While you are doing this, chop all veggies and set aside.
- Once all the beef is browned, drained and in the crock pot, heat a little oil in a large pan and add the vegetables.
- Saute the vegetables until the volume in the pan starts to reduce and the onions become translucent.
- Add seasonings and chile powder to the pan; cook until fragrant and the volume continues to decrease in the pan. There should be little to no moisture in the base of the pan.
- Drain diced tomatoes and add those to the pan, stirring the mixture through before adding to the crock pot. No need to stir in the crock pot, just layer the vegetable mixture on top and pat down.
- Add the beef stock before putting on the lid and turning on the crock pot. Cook for approximately 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low, depending on your crock pot.
- Optional step: when the chili has about an hour to go before being ready, add the arrowroot mixture and the chocolate. Stir through and finish up.
Printable recipe, pictures and more details here.