This was delicious! Eating this as I type. After reading the reviews and seeing complaints about saltiness (being sensitive to salt myself) I tried my best to use all low sodium ingredients, omitted the salt, and used just a couple of bouillon cubes instead of the four tablespoons of granules, as I didn't have any.
I made the sauce (basically everything but the meat, onions, garlic, and beans) the night beforehand, adding a small can of tomato paste and four bay leaves instead of two. I think leaving the mixture in the fridge overnight helped everything mingle.
The day of, I browned ground beef with half a large onion (I'm a lightweight when it comes to cutting onions) with garlic powder (as I didn't have cloves.) I drained the mix then poured everything (waiting on the beans, using black instead of pinto) into my crockpot for a few hours.
I don't see where the complaints about spiciness come from. When I went to add the beans on the last leg of the recipe, it was still this side of bland- and I'm a total baby when it comes to spicy food! So I added a couple of shakes of all the spices used.
Served with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar, and a handful of fritos! Next time will probably add another can of black beans, another can of tomato paste, and another half or full pound of meat, and perhaps some chives/green onion on top of the sour cream for garnish.
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This was delicious! Eating this as I type. After reading the reviews and seeing complaints...