I don't know about you, but once October rolls around, I start craving all things fall in the kitchen... including lots and lots of chili! I think we all probably have our favorite ways of making chili. There are so many variations, and so many things you can add or take away. I've been making this variation for a few years now and it still remains our favorite. :-)
This recipe uses your typical chili spices, although lately I've been substituting ground chipotle for chili powder. Either way it's delicious! I think chili is probably one of the easiest meals to put together, and usually something that everybody loves. Even my husband, who isn't a big fan of soup (so disappointing, I gotta tell you ;-) ), loves chili! And our girls gobble this up so quickly, although I do go a little lighter on the spice because of them.
This year I have two nights a week that require complete meal prep, as we arrive home right at dinner time with everyone hungry. So I've been using my crock pot a ton! I love making chili, because when I'm struggling to get everything done before we get out the door, I can always throw this chili together quickly in the crock pot. You can also just simmer this on the stovetop though, if that works better for you, which I do a lot during the weekend. And leftover chili? It only gets better!
I typically bake a big skillet of cornbread too and have some type of veggie on the side.
2 pounds ground beef
3 ounces tomato paste (or half of a 6 ounce can)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (including juice)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-2 Tbsp chili powder or 1/2-1 Tbsp ground chipotle powder (I go on the light side because of my little girls - feel free to add more/less depending on your taste)
1 tsp salt
Place the ground beef in a skillet (I like to cook my ground beef in a cast iron skillet), season lightly with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until done. Drain off excess fat and place the cooked ground beef in a pot or slow cooker crockpot. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatos, water, oregano, cumin, chili powder or chipotle powder, and 1 tsp salt. Stir together, cover, lower temperature, and simmer for at least 1 hour on the stovetop or cook on low in the crockpot for several hours.
Optional Add-In: Pinto beans are an obvious great choice! You can so easily throw in a can of beans with everything else, but drain and rinse them first.
Toppings: Nothing makes this better than freshly grated monterey jack cheese and a big glob of sour cream!