There is a minimum of one day’s cooking time on this – largely because of the beans.
I use red kidney beans – largely because I am allergic to every other bean on the planet.
You rinse the beans in a colander or bowl and drain off all the water. Place the beans in a crockpot with two times as much water as beans. So if you use a cup of beans you want 2 cups of water and so on.
Cook the beans overnight on low. Most crockpots have three settings, warm, low, and high. I almost never use the high setting when cooking as it tends to either scald the food or sear the outsides leaving the insides uncooked.
I actually prefer to cook my beans for two days. Once the beans are soft I use a fork to mash a few against the walls of the pot. This allows the starch inside the beans to mix more freely with the water and thickens the base.
I personally allow my beans to cook until there is only enough water to have a texture approximating bean soup. (Steve leaves more water but he likes an extra thin chili).
That is optional however.
Next I dice up 2-3 tomatoes and then placed the diced tomatoes inside the blender to make a tomato paste.
Sometimes if I want extra flavor, I put the diced tomatoes in a skillet with a little cooking oil (I use coconut oil but others will work – just be aware that peanut and olive oils both flavor whatever you are cooking) and pan sear them so that they become both soft and pick up a subtle “grilled” flavor. Then I blend those into paste.
I then put the tomato paste in a good sized mixing bowl.
Then I partially pan fry up turkey burger in the skillet with some more oil and a little sea salt. (You can do this with hamburger instead, I can’t.) The trick here is to add the salt (or your seasonings) as you stir the burger. I like my burger extra fine so I break it up with the spatula as I cook it.
You don’t want to completely cook the burger in the skillet – if you do it will simply dry out and get nasty in the chili mix.
NOTE: Add your diced onions, taco seasoning, or whatever here. In the skillet. NOT in the pot.
Then I either drain the grease from the burger OR for same day eating and extra flavor I drain off almost all of the grease and leave maybe a teaspoon in the meat.
I stir the cooked meat into the tomato paste in the mixing bowl.
Then I stir the meat and tomatoes into the chili, cook the whole thing in the covered pot for about thirty minutes more on low.
And then serve it.
Steve likes to top the finished product with cheese shreds and diced onions, but that is up to you. In my opinion a touch of sour cream at this stage is also not amiss, but again that is up to you.