Beef and Pumpkin Chili

Full disclosure: this chili is actually made with Hubbard squash, not pumpkin.  Did you know that Hubbards are often processed and sold as canned pumpkin?  True.  They are more densely-fleshed than pie pumpkins and make for a smooth puree.  However, I felt that “Beef and Hubbard Squash Chili” was too verbally clunky.  At any rate, make this with any winter squash you have on hand–I am busy throwing winter squash into virtually everything, as we have quite the growing stack. If I start boring you all with squash recipes, please give me a little electronic poke and I will stop, I promise.

I added a heaping two cups of cooked, cubed squash to this chili, and was pretty thrilled with how it added depth of flavor as well as a richer texture.  It made some really fine chili.  I used a pound of ground beef from Rocky Mountain Organic Beef as the base and it made for a beefy, full-bodied stew.  You could easily make this vegetarian by skipping the beef and adding in another can of beans.  I garnished this thick stew with some shredded, aged cheddar, and was planning on fresh cilantro but we were out.  Green onions would also be a nice finishing touch.

Beef and Pumpkin Chili
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound lean ground beef, such as Rocky Mountain Organic
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, with their juice
1 15-ounce kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground Ancho chile
3-4 cups water or stock
2-3 cups cooked, chopped winter squash

In a five quart pot brown the onion and ground beef, stirring to break up the beef into chunks.  When the beef is no longer pink, stir in all remaining ingredients except the winter squash.  Simmer for 20 minutes and then stir in the squash, and cook for another ten minutes.  Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings.  Serve with shredded cheese or chopped fresh cilantro.

Cooked winter squash freezes well (fortunately) so if you are dealing with excess just cook it, peel it, pack it in freezer bags, and freeze for later use.  I already have several packs ready for winter stews and breads.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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5 Responses to Beef and Pumpkin Chili

  1. Curt November 7, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Hey, this looks pretty good. I love experimenting with different chilis.

  2. Karen Harris November 10, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    This looks so inviting on these cold winter nights. I love stretching the vegetable content. This will definitely be on our table for the Thanksgiving break.

  3. Anonymous November 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Where are your other pumpkin and winter squash recipes. Made the chili and it was yummy!!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Angela November 24, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    I have several more–if you scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page you will see an index, and you can click on "pumpkin" for more!

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