Although it doesn't get quite as bone shatteringly cold in Sacramento as it does where I grew up in Ohio, I still find myself often needing a big helping of warm, hearty comfort food to get me through the chillier days of winter.
One of my favorite go-to comfort meals is my Virginia-born-and-raised-and-darn-proud-of-it grandmother's chili. This was a staple in my house growing up and as an adult, I now know why -- it is simple and cheap to make, lasts a while, and reheats wonderfully. All you need is a slow cooker, a skillet, and some fresh ingredients. Once you chop up the ingredients, the slow cooker does 80% of the work and after a few hours of simmering, you'll have a cauldron of spicy, warm goodness that "should" yield you and your roommates / loved ones several more meals through the week.
I like to serve mine with a jalapeno cheddar quesadilla, iron skillet jalapeno cornbread or even poured over mashed potatoes in a bowl. However you decide to serve it up, this is one delicious and comforting dish that will get you through the winter months.
Prep: 15 min. | Cook: 4 hrs. | Serves: 18
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 quarts halved tomatoes, drained (home canned are best)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 15 oz. can chili beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 chili seasoning packet
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef, onions and green pepper. Cook until onions are translucent. Drain any pan drippings and pour ground beef mixture into 6 qt. slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients. Set slow cooker to high for 2 hours, then reduce to low for 2 hours.
Serve in soup bowls with oyster crackers or pickled jalapenos if desired.