This is another name chosen by my faithful hubby. Because it’s like chili meets lentils. Lentili. I thought it was clever.
So, this was a recipe that I adapted from something that I found on the Passionate Homemaking Blog. I wanted to do it in the crockpot because I was going to be running errands during prime time dinner cooking time and really wanted to avoid the temptation of drive through. So, I pulled out the crockpot and thought for a while about what I wanted to make. I remembered I had made this before in the crockpot so decided to whip it up because I remembered it being really good! And it is really good. Like comfort food to the max. Especially in the winter.
So you’re gonna want to start this early because it takes the lentil ages to cook. (If you pre-cook the lentils some than it will cut off a lot of time though, just adjust the liquid ratio in the dish) If you get started on it late then I would suggest par cooking the lentils first. I personally hate crockpot recipe’s that pretty much just keeps the food warm so I actually wanted the lentil to cook in all the delicious flavors of this dish. Just a note that you might want to add some of the chili powder and cayenne after serving it to kids. It wasn’t spicy but it did have a touch of a kick to it. But if your kids like that than by all means throw it all in there at once.
You will need:
1 cup lentils (I used green)
1 lb. ground beef (would also work with turkey)
3 good palm fulls of both cumin and chili powder
dash cayenne powder
1-2 tbls. white vinegar
1 onion sliced
3-4 cloves garlic diced small
1 tbls. Olive oil
1 large can (about 28 oz) diced tomatoes
1-2 tbls super concentrated tomato paste (or more of the regular stuff)
salt and pepper to taste ( I used kosher salt-about 1tbls.)
3 cups water (you might want to decrease to 2 1/2 cups for thicker consistency)
Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese to serve with
So, first you want to turn on your crockpot to high heat and put in the water, butter and lentils. Now take a skillet and add the olive oil and onion. Allow to cook down till about translucent. Next add the ground beef and garlic. (I started with semi-frozen ground beef and had to defrost it as it cooked as seen in the picture.) Go ahead and brown the ground beef really well. I like to do this because the flavor changes a bit when it gets really browned. The onion should be cooking with it at the same time.
Once the meat is done go ahead and drain any fat (I didn’t have any because we use grass fed beef which is VERY low in fat and the fats present are much better anyhow) and dump it along with all the other ingredients into the crockpot.
Now just let it cook for 7-10 hours on HIGH. Go even longer if you have the time. You really want those lentil to absorb all the liquid and cook through.
Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese, serve and enjoy! The leftovers will be really good from this too.