Monday, November 8

Make Ahead Monday: Chili

When my husband and I were in college, one of the "things to do" in that small town was to go to a burger chain there called Steak'N'Shake.  It was super yummy!  Almost everything they serve is wonderful, but one thing I especially love there is their chili.  We searched long and hard to find a chili that compared and finally I found a knock-off recipe online.  After a few minor tweaks here is what we ended up with.  We really enjoy this hearty meal during the colder months, but have even been known to enjoy it in the spring and summer!  Even better is what a frugal meal this is (though not completely healthy as I have yet to find a good substitute for the cola) and the fact that it is done in the slow cooker AND it freezes well for a quick meal!

Steak'N'Shake Style Chili

2 T oil
1 lbs ground beef
½ t salt
1 T chili powder
2 t ground cumin
½ t pepper
2 t cocoa
3 (15 oz) cans chili/kidney beans
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup cola (not diet)

Brown ground beef and salt in oil – if there is a high fat content to the ground beef you can omit the oil (I usually do).
Drain meat and add to slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and stir.
Let simmer on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.

To Freeze: Mix ingredients together and transfer to freezer bag (or other container for freezing).  I usually double bag soup style dinners to prevent leakage when thawing.  Also be sure to write the date and directions for cooking on the bag.  Take out of freezer the day before to thaw (or thaw in cool water in sink--will probably take a few hours), place in slow cooker morning/afternoon you want to enjoy and follow cooking instructions.

**Frugal Tip: You can cut the amount of ground beef in half and add more beans to make this stretch further and be cheaper.

No comments: