Chili is one of those hearty meals that never seems to stop being delicious. As Christina and I have lived in NYC now through 3 winters, it has become a staple for us to stay warm and stay full. The first time we ever made chili we did it in like 45 minutes, just long enough to let everything kind of simmer together. It was okay, but just didn't really seem cohesive. Then, we bought a crockpot.
It was unbelievable the difference it made to have the food simmer on low heat for that long and the flavors were incomparable to the original method of cooking. Plus, you can prep everything the night before, leave the ceramic portion of the crockpot in the fridge, then just take it out and place it in the heating container and go to work! This is a no-brainer recipe that is pretty healthy if you use low-fat beef. We also do a similar version with chicken we call our Shredded Chicken Chili.
Start by heating your oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and placing your diced onions in there. Once the onions are translucent, add in your beef and jalapenos. Core your red bell pepper and place it in the oven on broil for 3-5 minutes or until slightly blackened.
While the beef cooks, drain all of your cans of beans and add them into your crockpot. Take your red bell pepper out of the oven and dice into small pieces before tossing it into the crockpot as well. Then, add in all of your spices to the crockpot too. Now we need to dice up all the tomatoes, and a fast way to do that is by just blending them gently. We find this actually makes the chili taste better and saves a load of time since they are already broken down and ready to meld with the other ingredients.
Once your beef is cooked all the way through, take it and place the mixture in your crockpot. Add in your broth and beer, and mix together thoroughly. Try to ensure everything is mixed together since we won't be touching this or stirring it once it goes into the crockpot.
Cook the chili on low for 8-10 hours (we usually just let it cook all day while we are at work) and then serve with some shredded cheese, diced green onions, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips or whatever else you want to top the chili with :) Enjoy!