Chili: it’s easy, it’s delicious, and you can make it in your crock pot! The longer you let this meaty-mixture stew the better it gets, so don’t be afraid to leave your crock pot running on a low setting–the chili actually thickens and enriches the flavors the longer you cook it. You can also prep this dish ahead of time, throw it in the fridge, then reheat it the morning of. By the time you get home, your house will smell delicious and dinner will be ready to go. This recipe almost ensures second helpings, so come hungry.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1/3 lb bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 in wide strips

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1/2 lb ground beef

3 medium garlic cloves, crushed

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. cayenne

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1 16oz can kidney beans, drained

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. dried oregano

3/4 tsp. salt

8 drops hot chili sauce

Method:

1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add the bacon and saute until lightly browned (about 2 min.)

2. Add the beef, garlic, and onions. Saute until beef is no longer pink (about 10 min.)

3. Add the cumin, chili powder and cayenne. Saute another minute.

4. Add tomatoes, stir in remaining ingredients and gently boil until thick (about 15-20 minutes.)

5. Serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh cilantro and grated cheese.

Photo Credit: Joel Bez via Flickr