The finished product

Some foods seem like they should be made and eaten during specific times of the day, year or in certain kinds of weather. I like to make chicken salad in the summer, but seldom think of it during the cooler months. The thought of ice cream in January just chills me, but bring it on in June!  Mornings start with coffee, and only rarely does it call my name later in the day. Hot chocolate is a winter drink in my book, and it is even better served near Christmas. I’m not interested in soup in the summer, unless the day is cool and rainy. Those were some of my thoughts as I recently made chili in my Crock Pot.

Here’s the recipe, which I estimate made between 14 and 18 generous servings.

Generously grease the Crock Pot with oil. (I used olive oil).

Build a bed of raw onions on the bottom of the Crock Pot. I used 1 large onion, 2 medium ones and 1 small one. To prevent tears, as well as for those of us who like the flavor of onions, but not necessarily onions, I just chunked them into large pieces, easy to push to the side.  If you’re in a hurry, I bet onion power or onion flakes would substitute well.  However, if you do that, I’d make sure to add enough water to cover the Ramen noodles, as listed below.

While you are cutting the onions, brown about 1 pound of hamburger in the microwave. (I put my hamburger in on medium for about 4 minutes.) Drain any grease.

On top on the onions, put a package of Ramen noodles. Save the flavor packet for something else.  (If you’re using onion power or onion flakes, I would put them in on top of  the Ramen noodles, and cover with water.)

Put the drained hamburger on top of the noodles. Cook on high for about an hour, making sure the onions give off enough liquid to keep from burning.  If not, add enough tap water to prevent burning.

Add 1 can each of drained and well-rinsed butter beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans.

Add 1 can of pork ‘n beans, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and 1 can of chili with beans.

Add about ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons prepared mustard, 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons red table wine and 1 teaspoon vermouth. These measurements are approximate, and the last 2 ingredients can easily be omitted. If additional liquid is needed, add tap water.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 4 hours.

This chili is so good on a cold, snowy, windy day! As the flavors meld together, it’s even better then next day…..if there’s any left!

Copyright, January 25, 2021 by Rebecca A. Henderson

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