Prep 30 mins
Cook 8 hrs
This is my own creation. I wanted to make a spicy chili with a "bite" to it. Literally, I wanted something firm in the chili. My pepper mill inspired me last year for a block party's chili contest. I added whole peppercorns, and my new favorite recipe was born! You can adjust the heat level in this dish by adding or subtracting peppercorns, cooking longer or shorter times and refrigerating the chili overnight before cooking it. The more this chili ages, the softer the peppercorns become and the less intensity they hold.
- 2 lbs beef stew meat, fat trimmed and reduced to one inch pieces
- 1 large onion, white or yellow, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 3 (15 ounce) cans whole canned tomatoes, peeled with juice reserved
- 2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans kidney beans, light red, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, according to taste
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 40 saltine crackers (one half package) (optional)
- 4 ounces sour cream (regular, light or fat free) (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup onion, diced (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup tomatoes, freshly diced (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
- Brown beef stew meat in large skillet just until the edges are browned.
- While the beef browns, in large crockpot (greater than 3 quarts), combine onion, green pepper, tomatoes (not juice), kidney beans, chili beans, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir and add the remaining herbs and spices. Mix well.
- Add beef and combine well. Stir in reserved tomato juice until mixture is soupy and two inches from the rim of the slow cooker. Do not overfill. Note: The remainder of the juice can be refrigerated in a sealed container in case you want to add it later.
- Turn the slow cooker to low, cover and allow the chili to cook for a minimum of 8 hours. To help soften the peppercorns and reduce the heat, remove the crock pot from the heating unit and refrigerate overnight.
- Hints: To thicken chili, add additional beans or instant potato flakes. To thin chili, add remaining tomato juice.
- Serve in large bowls. Presentation tip: Place serving bowls of Saltines, sour cream, onion, tomatoes and grated cheese on the table and enjoy!