My Chili Un-recipe

I was asked for my chili recipe today, which is a shame because I don’t have one. This is both because I never wrote it down and because every time it is different. But I do feel that I have something going, so if I were to make chili today, here’s how I’d start out.

Every-color chili– Cans of beans, red, black, white, navy, kidney (drain and keep the juice)
– chopped green and red peppers
– chopped onion
– pineapple chunks (optional)
– meat, like bacon, steak, spicy sausage or ground beef (or any combination of those)
– hot peppers (Anaheim, jalapeño, habenero)
– brown sugar (more than you’d think)
– chili powder
– garlic
– cumin or a packet of chili seasoning mix (optional)
– a very tangy BBQ sauce (hot and sassy, rich and sassy), up to a full bottle

Toss all of that in a Crockpot and let it cook. As for the relative quantities, I usually go for color and texture first, which might be backwards. If you’d like, use the BBQ sauce and bean juice to make it more soupy. If you’re going with spicy peppers, remember that the spiciness will take a while to show up, so don’t over do it.

In my mind, what makes a good chili is that the flavor is consistent with every bite. Of course the flavor changes with what you put in, but cooking it long allows you to make changes to the flavor.

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