There are few things more comforting in the winter than a warm bowl of chili. I mean, really, very few. A warm fire, hot chocolate, chili… that's my winter comfort list. I must confess I've never made chili myself. I decided around the age of 10 that my favorite chili ever was from a place my family stayed in the Grand Tetons, and despite the fact that there's no way I still remember what that chili tasted like, I deemed it unbeatable. The close second contender was the chili made in church chili nights growing up. Some of the best food seems to be made at church events, but I couldn't begin to tell you what the ladies who made it used in the recipe.
My boyfriend happens to be a great cook, so it's easy to swap some homemade desserts for a few of his homemade meals from time to time. A few weeks ago he made this chili, and I couldn't get enough of it. I was scraping my bowl and legitimately upset when I finished off the container he gave me to take to work. It's much different than a lot of chili I'm used to because it's sweeter. He says it's the tomato puree that does this--I don't know if that's it, but I'm a fan.
The sweetness somehow makes it even better with a bit of sour cream stirred in. I know it's January and we all try to avoid the extras like sour cream as a topping, but you shouldn't skip it with this chili. This chili + cheddar cheese + sour cream = Grand Teton good chili. I didn't have sour cream at my office so I put a spoon of Greek yogurt in it and that was delicious too. Sidenote: after this success I tried adding Greek yogurt to my Chipotle bowl when I decided to skip on the sour cream to be "healthy" and that was not a good swap. Just a word to the wise if you're like me and have backwards ways of convincing yourself things are not that bad for you.
Long story short, I got him to make it again this weekend because tomorrow the high in DC is 18 degrees, and I think I'll need this chili. For all of you in the mid-west and up north who would gladly take 18 degree weather over the negative temperatures you are experiencing right now, I think you need this chili even more than I do. If you don't have a crockpot you can also make this in a large stockpot. Because everything is already cooked it's just a matter of heating it long enough for the flavors to really blend together. The more time you give it the better it will get. Enjoy!
Sweet Crockpot Chili
Makes 8+ hearty servings
4 15 oz cans tomato puree
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of sweet corn
1 15oz can of black beans
1 15oz can of red kidney beans
1 yellow onion diced
1 6oz can of green chiles
2 packets of McCormicks Original Chili powder
1 lb ground beef (90% lean)
1 package of chicken Andouille sausage
Put tomato puree and diced tomatoes in the crockpot. Add corn, black beans, kidney beans, diced the yellow onion and green chilis. Stir to combine.
Brown the ground beef until no pink remains. Drain pan almost entirely and add beef to crockpot. Next, cook the chicken sausage in a little of the beef drippings reserved in the pan. When sausage is cooked through, pull off pan, slice into 1/4-inch slices and quarter the pieces. Add sausage to chili. Alternately, you can slice the chicken sausage before cooking and cook this way instead.
Stir in both packets of McCormicks Chili powder with 1/4 cup of water. Cook in the crockpot on low for 5 hours.