Everything gets stirred together in the crockpot, cover on, set to Low and off I go.
Stirring the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste into the raw meat will allow the meat to cook without forming large clumps. I love how forgiving this recipe is - sometimes I add some diced jalapeno instead of, or in addition to, the sweet pepper, sometimes I leave out the diced tomatoes or use ground turkey instead of beef. Prefer a vegetarian chili? Leave out the meat altogether.
After everything is combined, sprinkle the cocoa powder over the top. Once your cooker heats up, the cocoa powder will melt. You can stir it in anytime after it melts. If you try to stir it in when it's still dry, it will clump. Let it cook at least 30 minutes longer after stirring in the melted cocoa powder to allow flavors to blend. You will not taste cocoa, you will taste rich silkyness.
Notice how stiff the mixture looks. It will thin out a bit once it cooks, but this is a thick chili. If it's too thick for your taste, you can add additional broth after it's finished cooking.
Easy 3 Bean Crockpot Chili
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 (14-16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried chopped onion
1 tablespoon paprika
2 - 3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic OR 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (14-16 oz.) cans chili beans
2 (14-16 oz.) cans beans, drained and rinsed (black, pinto, red, great northern)
1 (14-16 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 of a sweet bell pepper, diced (any color)
1/2 cup beef broth or water
2-3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Spray interior of crockpot with non-stick.
Add ground beef, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Stir until smooth.
Add beans, tomatoes, bell pepper and broth; stir gently to combine.
Sprinkle cocoa powder evenly over top.
Put lid on, turn on Low and cook 5 - 8 hours. It gets better the longer it cooks.