Chili is one of the ultimate comfort dishes and is perfect all year round from summer to cool fall days. In the last few years, I have made many versions of this and have honed in on what I really love: a slightly smoky spice from chipotles with a slightly sweet note.
I have never been a huge fan of beans, so I substitute them for diced butternut squash, one of the best ingredients during Fall. The texture of the squash when cooked is similar, but it adds a slightly sweet note that is unique and adds a new depth of flavor that you just won’t get from the bean.
As an added bonus, chili is a one pot meal that can easily feed a crowd or for a game day party. It’s really easy to scale to make in larger quantities provided you have larger pots and you can just throw it in a crock pot to keep warm for long periods. Put some topping options out and it sure to please
Beef and Butternut Squash Chili
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 yellow onion Diced
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 12 oz good Beer I prefer using a golden ale or wheat beer
- 1 can 14 Oz. Size Crushed Tomatoes, I prefer fire roasted
- 3 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce Minced
- 1 large Poblano Pepper roasted (see below)
- 1 cup frozen corn i prefer fire roasted corn (if your store sells it)
- 1/2 butternut Squash large dice
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp corn Starch
- Sour Cream For Serving
- Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese For Serving
- Cilantro For Serving
- Lime Wedges For Serving
Roasted Poblano Pepper
- Hold whole poblano pepper with tongs over high heat over a gas burner until the skin blisters and blackens. Once the whole pepper is blackened, remove the skin of the pepper with your knife. Cut into a fine dice.
- *You can roast the pepper in the oven if you do not have a gas range. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes until charred on all sides, turning with tongs.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until onions soften.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Add 3/4 of the beer, reserving the rest, cook for about 5 minutes to reduce.
- Add the tomatoes, chipotles, butternut squash, frozen corn, diced poblano pepper, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine, then cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.
- Combine 1 tbsp of corn starch with 1 tbsp of remaining beer and stir to make a paste. Add this to the chili to thicken. If Chili is still soupy, add an additional tbsp of corn starch with 1 tbsp beer. Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
- Top with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.