I *love* my crockpot.
One of my favourite things to cook in it is a chilli, which I'll leave all day. The recipe below yields 4 very large or 6 large servings - your crockpot should be big enough to make enough for 12-16 servings though should you want to make that much.
You can play around with this recipe lots, this is the one I made last night to have today (I've used the Worcestershire sauce to add that sweetness you need in a chilli - but a little dark chocolate or mango chutney or brown sugar achieve the same end.)
1lb good lean minced beef
2 garlic cloves
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1-2 fresh chillis, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped or grated
1-2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1-2 onions, chopped
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons Lea & Perrins chilli and garlic sauce (available in any Tesco)
Good splash Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper
A little beef stock - I used about 200ml
1 small can tomato purée
Fry off your beef in a saucepan with the garlic and drain off the fat. Place the beef and all other ingredients into the crockpot, stir, and leave to cook on low for 8-10 hours. Amazing.
I also make the stew my mam used to make...chunks of delicious beef, sliced carrots, onions, mushrooms and potatoes cooked together with a packet of Knorr oxtail soup. Not a foodie's dream but my goodness it is hearty and delicious.
Another simple stew is to place chicken breasts, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and any other vegetable you fancy into the crockpot with some chicken stock, wine, fresh herbs and seasoning and allow the flavours to develop over the day. So simple, tasty and healthy.