Makes the house smell so good as it simmers all day. Perfect for a cold day!
- 4 pounds ground chuck
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (16-ounce) cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
- Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sliced ripe black olives
- Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Place meat in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir in onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Cook, covered, at HIGH 5 to 6 hours or at LOW 6 to 8 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with desired toppings.
- Cooktop preparation: Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large Dutch oven. Drain beef and return to Dutch oven. Add onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 4 to 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf.
- To freeze: Let chili stand 30 minutes. Evenly divide chili mixture into 3 (1-gallon) zip-top plastic freezer bags; seal and lay each bag flat. Stack bags of chili in freezer. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw frozen chili overnight in refrigerator or defrost in microwave. Pour thawed chili into a 9-inch square baking dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, and fold back a corner to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 6 to 7 minutes or until bubbly, stirring after 3 1/2 minutes.
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