ground beef, shallot or onion, and garlic in a large skillet
over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add
the remaining ingredients then simmer for 30 minutes,
stirring once or twice.
Pot Cooking Instructions:
Transfer ground beef mixture to a 5 or 6 quart crock pot
then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine
(can be done ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator until
ready to start cooking.) Place a lid on top then cook on low
for 4-6 hours.
Next add a 29oz
can tomato sauce, 15oz can baked beans, and
15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed. For
whatever reason Iíve always used Bushís Vegetarian
Baked Beans in my signature chili, but you can use whatever
kind you like best. I just love how the baked beans add a
touch of sweetness!
Now add all the
spices that turn tomato sauce and beans into Signature
Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili. Youíll need 3 Tablespoons
chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon each
salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and
cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon (or more or less)
The smoked paprika
gives this chili a totally unique flavor and plays well off
the smoky/spicy chili and cayenne powders. Mmm!
Now for the piece de
resistance: 1-2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar. The
chili tastes completely different without the brown sugar so
if you like a subtle sweetness in your chili then youíve
just got to go for it! Trust me, it will not make your chili
taste like candy. Itís all about balance between spicy,
smoky, and sweet.
Place a lid on top
then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times.
Alternatively, stir everything together in the crock pot
then cook on low for 4-6 hours. If youíre around you can
give it a stir a few times, but itíll be ok in there if you
canít stir it. I tried letting the chili slow cook for 8
hours but it reduced down a bit too much and some of the
flavors got lost. Stick with 4-6 and youíll be set.
This chili also
freezes GREAT. Simply let it cool completely then scoop into
a freezer bag and freeze flat. To reheat, let it thaw in the
refrigerator overnight and then reheat on the stove.
When itís time to
eat, scoop the chili into bowls (these little crocks are
from Benís Chili Bowl in D.C.!) then top with melted cheese,
chopped green onions, and tortilla chips for crunch!