This is one of my favorite recipes during the winter when all you want to do is cozy up to your loved one and snuggle. This warm and slightly spicy recipe will have him or her wanting more. This recipe makes about 6 servings, so there will be leftovers and plenty of cuddles, because what is date night without that?

How to Select Ingredients

First, you will need to select your meat. Beef is used in this recipe, and it is suggested to use the leanest cut of beef you can find, but you can use any other type of meat, such as hot dogs, chicken, ham, pork, whatever you want to use. You can even create a vegetarian version of this chili for those who prefer not to use meat. Once you have decided what meat to use, it is best to select which type of beans you want to add in your chili. I use Bush’s baked beans or a similar version of baked beans.

One can is all that is needed, although you can even add kidney beans to add more fiber. Other varieties of beans that would go well with this chili would be; black beans, which may go well with smoky foods, such as bacon; black-eyed-peas, which go great with salty foods, such as ham and bacon; cannellini beans, which are creamy in texture; great northern beans, which go well in stews and soups; pinto beans, which are commonly found in Mexican dishes for their earthy flavor and smooth texture, and kidney beans instead of baked beans.

Now that you have your two main ingredients figured out, you will need to know which vegetables to use. I absolutely love to use green peppers and onions, but you can add other vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, etc. This stew-like chili will be thick once cooled, so try not to add too many vegetables that will thicken the chili. Instead, opt for slightly crunchy vegetables, like peppers and onions for texture. I also use water to thin the chili somewhat, so be sure to add more or less depending on how thick you want the chili to be.

Once you have the base of your chili made, you will want to spice it up and add some flavor. This chili dish is not very spicy, but it can be depending on how much garlic you use, as garlic is a must in this recipe. Next, you will need some tomato paste, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Make sure to stir this in really well as this will be the flavor of the chili. As for spices, go heavy on chili powder and use some salt and pepper. Feel free to mix and match the flavors to your liking.

Cooking Methods

There are two ways this chili can be made. One way is to use a Dutch oven; the other, a crock pot. If you want your chili done sooner, then I would use a Dutch oven. That way, you won’t overcook the chili and spoil the flavor. The crock pot is best used on low settings for longer periods of time. I love to use the Dutch oven, as it usually only takes about 20 minutes to cook the chili, instead of 2 hours or so.
Depending on how you want your chili cooked, you may want to try both. Just be sure not to overcook the chili, as baked beans will get mushy if overcooked. You don’t want your chili to look like mush. You also don’t want your chili to be undercooked either, as the baked beans need to cook thoroughly. Otherwise, your chili will be more on the runny side. If you are outside camping and the temperature is just right, you may want to try making this chili recipe over a fire.

Warnings: The Use of Peppers and How to Stop the Burn

Speaking of fire, if you want to make this chili spicy instead of sweet, there is an abundance of peppers that you can select from to add some heat to this chili recipe. The jalapeño pepper is particularly spicy, so be careful when handling it. “Wild chili collection is an important seasonal activity in numerous parts of Mexico. Chiltepines are the most sought-after species in the northern portions of the country” (Perramond 62). Since these peppers are spicy, there is a risk when handling them.

Use gloves for protection and don’t touch your face, especially your eyes. If the juice from the pepper does come into contact with your eyes, immediately rinse your eyes under cold water. If you eat the pepper with the chili and it is too hot, drink a glass of milk, which is known to cool down the heat. “The active ingredient, capsaicin, is a crystalline alkaloid compound found in the walls of chili fruits and is remarkably durable and stable; it is what makes chilies "hot"” (Perramond 63). This ingredient is a key part of spicy dishes.

Remember to use peppers that are the least spicy if you are sensitive to the heat. As you get accustomed to varying degrees of heat, slowly try spicier peppers, or just add another to the chili. Bell peppers are the least spicy, and my favorite to use in this recipe. I try to avoid spicy peppers and increase the amount of chili powder I use to make the chili spicier. You can also try adding chili sauce. Now that you know what ingredients to use, it is time to prepare to make the chili!

Recipe: Preparation

Equipment

  • A Dutch oven, or Crockpot
    (Preferably a Dutch oven)
  • A frying pan
  • An emptied vegetable can (or something to drain the meat juice in)
  • A ladle (to stir the chili)
  • A cutting board (to cut up all the vegetables)

Ingredients

  1. A pound of ground beef
  2. One large can of baked beans
  3. A small can of tomato paste
  4. A few cups of water
  5. Two green bell peppers
  6. Two onions
  7. Some garlic
  8. Some ketchup
  9. Some mustard
  10. Some brown sugar
  11. Some chili powder
  12. Some garlic powder
  13. Some pepper
  14. Some salt
    Additional spices, seasonings, and flavors

Cooking Steps

Step 1:
Gather all your equipment and ingredients and place them on a table.

Step 2:
Cut up vegetables until they are the size that you want.
(Tip: Meal prepping is easy for this recipe. Simply cut up and store your vegetables ahead of time to save yourself time).

Step 3:
If your meat is not thawed, proceed to thaw it. Then place the meat on the preheated frying pan and wait for it to be cooked. If you are using ground beef, remember to wait until the meat is no longer red and the juices run clear. Then drain the juice into a spare can

Step 4:
Turn the heat on for the Dutch oven or the Crockpot and proceed to add the few cups of water, the sliced vegetables, garlic, baked beans, tomato paste, and meat.

Step 5:
Once those are cooking, add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and various spices and seasonings of your choice.

Step 6:
Turn off the heat once the beans are cooked through and the liquid goes down a bit.(Tip: You can place the lid over the pot to speed this step up). Enjoy!

                      Resources

Perramond, E. P. "The Politics of Ecology: Local Knowledge and
Wild Chili Collection in Sonora, Mexico." Journal of Latin
American Geography, vol. 4 no. 1, 2005, pp. 59-75. Project MUSE. Web. 13 July 2017.
http://muse.jhu.edu.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/article/185192

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