Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pumpkin Chili

Bad news, kids. I had a reputation to maintain, but I just couldn't pull through for you this time. The church chili cook-off championship slipped from my fingers this time. It didn't stray too far, though, as it ended up with my brother (who incidentally, was a runner up to mine from last year). I'm not going to say I'm bitter, but just for an explanation, the judging panel was very different this year than last year. There were a lot more good ole' boys this year, and my artsy pumpkin version didn't really have the "man chili" persona the judges were looking for. Nonetheless, it is good. The pumpkin gives a real earthy body to the chili. Most people probably wouldn't be able to tell that it was pumpkin, but there definitely is something to it.

Pumpkin Chili

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 small vidalia onion
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder blend, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 can packed, pureed pumpkin
  • 1 pound beef steak
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Chop the shallot, onion, and green pepper to a fine dice. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the shallot, onion, cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Stir until caramelized and very fragrant. Add the pepper, and stir just a little longer, until soft.

Add the tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, beef stock, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and let simmer (in total, you'll want it to simmer about two hours).

Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium high. Coat with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper the steak on both sides, and sear on the skillet, about 4 minutes a side. It doesn't need to cook through, just get a beautiful crust on both sides. Cut it into 1/4 inch cubes, and add to the chili.

Carefully to taste, add the oregano, paprika, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir frequently, and adjust seasoning as necessary.


Hollywood said...

then I guess my answer to your quiz wasn't far off either! I was near the end of the line and missed out on a taste of your chili...guess I'll have to try my hand at it one day.

Alexandra said...

The same thing happened to me last semester!

Aaron said...

I made this. It was good.