I know all the packets of chili seasoning have a recipe on the back but this is the way I always, always make mine and it turns out perfect every single time.
I don’t much care for those brown paper bag mixes because I like a lot of cumin and I've always found them to be more about the chili powder and less about the cumin. And I really don’t care for the mesa slurry that most of those include.
So, for this recipe, use the cheap-o pouch and don’t try to get fancy with the froufrou mixes.
And yes, I know you can season it yourself with your own cumin, garlic, chili powder, oregano, etc., but I’m so completely happy with the packets that I've never bothered to make it truly homemade.
And I like pinto beans. You can use kidney beans if you like, but I like the softer texture of the pintos.
Easy Crock Pot Chili
2-2.5 pounds ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Salt & pepper
2 14-oz. cans petite diced tomatoes
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
2 16-oz. cans pinto beans, drained
2 1.75-oz. packages chili seasoning mix
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 can of beer*
Brown ground beef with onion, salt and pepper (to taste) over high heat. Drain fat then add ground beef to a crock pot.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, chili seasoning, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and beer to ground beef and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
* If you really, really don't want to use beer, substitute with vegetable stock or water but I highly suggest the beer because I think it "makes" the chili.
This is a fun recipe to serve to a crowd (double or triple the recipe as needed). Create a “chili bar” by setting out bowls filled with an assortment of the following so that folks can top their chili to their liking. I be liking mine with sour cream and corn chips.
Pico de gallo
Sliced black olives