In a Dutch oven cook ground beef, onions, green sweet pepper, and garlic as above. Drain fat. In a 4- to 5 -quart slow cooker combine meat mixture, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, chili powder, basil, and black pepper. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Makes 8 servings (about 10 cups).
Prepare Chili as above, except substitute 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steak for the ground beef. Cut meat into 3/4-inch pieces. In a Dutch oven brown meat, half at a time, in 1 tablespoon hot cooking oil. Remove meat, reserving drippings in pan. Cook onion, sweet pepper, and garlic in drippings until tender; drain. Return meat to Dutch oven. Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce. Continue as directed except reduce water to 1/2 cup and simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until meat is tender.