Chili for a Crowd – My Basic Recipe

On a cold night, nothing makes me happier than having a large pot of chili to feed a crowd and/or freeze left-overs for later. While I’m not typically the cook in my house, I like to think that I make a pretty good chili and my friends play along, at least. I’m a pretty informal cook and recipes aren’t really my thing, but here goes:

2 (14.5 oz) cans chili-ready diced tomatoes

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 (14.5 oz) cans dark kidney beans or chili beans

2 packages of chili spice or a lot of chili powder

2 lb. lean ground beef

1 large onion diced

For topping:

diced yellow or green onion

sour cream

cheddar cheese

oyster or saltine crackers

Pour cans of tomatoes into crock pot or other large pot. (If you don’t have a lot of time to simmer the chili, you may want to drain off some of the juice from the chili-ready diced tomatoes.) Drain beans and pour into pot. Add packages of chili spice or several tablespoons of chili powder. Brown ground beef in skillet, drain, and salt well. Brown onions in skillet (and, if you are feeling fancy, add some wine and reduce, once the onion is softened). Add beef and onion to pot. Cook on low for as long as possible, or you can speed it up in a hurry, but the longer the ingredients have to simmer together, the better the flavor. You can even cut the heat off for a few hours in the middle of cooking and turn it back on. This is very flexible.

Serve chili with toppings along with rice, French bread, and/or corn bread.

The best part about making chili is that I usually sample it so much while cooking that I’m mostly full by the time dinner rolls around. Plus, my whole house smells fabulous. Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think.