it’s a known fact,
probably even scientific,
that the cold makes us all shitty people.
the general lack of sunlight,
or enough of it in the day,
the hovering around freezing temps,
the static hair,
it’s enough to make this girl
add to that
the decline in desire
to be in the kitchen.
the first week after thanksgiving
i had no meal plan,
some lunches consisted of
sorry apples and oranges
that had to be remedied.
this chili came out far
better than i anticipated.
in our house,
dw likes the tomato based,
hearty chilis and stews,
while i prefer the
brothy, noodle bowls.
to combat the dreary
this became our lunch.
and boy did it improve
beef, squash & white bean chili
adapted from the everyday squash cook by rob firing, ivy knight and kerry knight
about 8-9 servings
*note: i received this great cookbook from movita beaucoup, after winning her pumpkin carve off. thanks to all who voted for us!
the recipe is very straight forward. i doubled a few of the spices for kick, and i also added more liquid than it calls for.
1 lb of lean ground beef, grass fed
1 onion, chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, with juice (i used muir’s fire roasted diced tomotoes) + 2 cansful of water or stock, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2″ cubed butternut squash (fine, it may have been more than half the squash)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 TBL chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight and cooked until al dente (or a can of white beans, drained and rinsed)
in a big soup pot, brown the ground beef on medium high. depending on how lean/fatty the meat is, you may need to add a few swivels of olive oil. break down the meat until crumbly. at this point, you can drain the meat reserving some of the oil/fat, or you can be lazy like me and push it to the side and add in the chopped onions. saute until translucent. at this point, i season with salt/pepper.
next add in the minced garlic and stir it around, until fragrant. just kidding, it’ll be fragrant almost immediately. add in the spices/dry ingredients. allow the spices to get thoroughly mixed into the meat and onions, about 5 minutes. carefully pour in the can of dice tomatoes + juice. allow to reach boil status and lower the heat. for the next hour, as the liquid reduces, add in a can’s worth of water or stock. do this twice.
for the last time that you pour in can’s worth of liquid, also add in the cubed squash. bring to a furious simmer/gentle boil. you don’t want the squash to get mushy but you do need to cook it through, about 15-20 minutes. for the last 10 minutes of cooking, add in the cooked beans.
can be served with cornbread or eaten as is. i’ve been dipping pretzel crisps for an added crunch.