Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

December 19, 2013 § 12 Comments

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These cold and snowy days I like to have some kind of soup or stew on the stove simmering away. I have to, I have a man with a huge appetite who comes in after spending most of his days out in the weather. Having a farm, taking care of animals, chopping and hauling firewood burn up the calories mighty quick. Something warm and hearty is what he’s looking for!

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I’d been putting off going shopping, not feeling like making the drive, so I didn’t have too much on hand in the fridge on this day. But I did have some ground beef and a couple of butternut squash. They keep just about forever thankfully, so are good to have around to make soup or this yummy chili. The rest of the ingredients are always in the kitchen, like onions, garlic, ‘canned’ tomatoes. (I don’t buy canned anymore, the BPA)

It’s the easiest recipe, really just a variation on my soup recipes. In fact, if you added a lot more stock to this you’d have soup. And you could add almost any vegetables to this, like some green or red peppers or cauliflower. Adding some spinach to it at the end is especially tasty.

Ingredients:

1 to 2 TBL olive oil or bacon fat

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 lbs ground beef, preferably grass fed

1 to 2 TBL chili powder, depends on how much you like

1 to 2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 dried chili pepper, optional

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

2 cups tomatoes, either fresh or ‘canned’ ( I buy Bionature or Pomi)

broth, like chicken, beef or vegetable, homemade if possible

salt and pepper to taste

parsley or cilantro for serving

Sauté the onions in the oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add the ground beef, breaking up with wooden spoon and cooking until it’s no longer pink. Add the spices, dried chili pepper, cut up squash, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Add some broth, you want the squash to have some liquid to cook in. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer about 45 minutes or so, covered, until squash is soft. Taste for seasoning, then mash up a few of the squash pieces to thicken it up a bit.

Scoop some into a big bowl, top with sour cream, some chopped parsley or cilantro and you have a delicious warm lunch or dinner. Like most chili or stew, it’s even better the next day. You can serve this as is, or over rice or quinoa.

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Illustration by me

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