Is it warm where you are? If so, can I come live with you? I won’t take up too much space. It’s just me, some clothes, a computer, some cookbooks, and a husband. And two kids. Not a big deal, right? 🙂 Actually, I shouldn’t complain. Usually, by now, we’ve had some crazy blizzards and are buried under a few feet of snow. But this has been a mild winter for Utah. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s still cold and all I really want to do is cuddle up by the fireplace with some hot chocolate and a good book. And maybe a piece of this madness from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
Or maybe a bowl of this knock-your-socks-off-delicious Chili For a Crowd, a.k.a. Everything But the Kitchen Sink Chili. Because it calls for a laaaa-haahhht of stuff. But that’s what makes it so darn good. And it makes a TON. I’m talking fill your crock pot to the brim. That said, if you need to halve it, you totally can. The best part is you can make a big batch and freeze the rest for a night in when you want to relax and not have to rattle the pots and pans. Or you can make it a day ahead and just heat it in your crock pot the next day (which I strongly suggest). Serve it with some warm cornbread muffins and you’re good to go!
- Spice Mix:
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- Beef and Beans:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- 3 (15 ounce) cans mild chili beans, undrained
- 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (I diced about 6 rings from a jar)
- 5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 beef bouillon cubes (or 4 tsp bouillon granules)
- ½ cup beer
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Green onions, sliced (optional)
- Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine spice mix ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground beef and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Add onion, celery, bell peppers, and jalapenos and saute for a couple of minutes. Drain excess grease.
- Add the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the crumbled bacon, bouillon, beer, and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
- Add spice mix and stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with green onions and cheddar cheese.
Also, once you've browned the beef and sausage and sauteed the veggies, you can dump everything in a crock pot to simmer.
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