If I had to pick one thing that fully represents autumn I think it would have to be the butternut squash. I get so excited when I start seeing them in the market and I just cannot wait to use them! Each year, I try to find a new way to use these deliciously sweet squash and this year is no different.
I made this chili last Saturday. We woke up at our usual time and went on a few errands in the morning. When we came home around lunchtime, I made some quick nachos for lunch and soon after started preparing the chili. There is something special about a simmering pot of chili (well, really anything!) that makes me feel cozy. The spices will warm you up from the inside-out and the smell will take over your house and leave everyone feeling content and full. I served this with some Black Pepper Jalapeño and White Cheddar Scones and I will share that recipe with you tomorrow.
Spicy Chili with Roasted Butternut Squash
Olive Oil 3 Pounds Beef Stew Meat, Cut into 1 inch Pieces 2 Pounds of Ground Beef 2 Medium Onions, Chopped 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (If you are making for children or others who don't like spice, reduce to 1 Tablespoon) 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes 2 Tablespoons Cumin 4 Bay Leaves 32 ounces of Whole Tomatoes in Juice, Crushed by Hand
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
1 Cup of Water 1/2 of a Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cut into 1 inch Pieces
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Heat some olive oil in your Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed, pot. Brown the stew meat on all sides, remove from pot and set aside. Add the ground beef to the pot and cook until browned. Add the chopped onions to the ground beef and let cook together on medium for about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and bay leaves. Let simmer for a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and browned pieces of stew meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover your pot and let simmer for 2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425°F. Toss butternut squash with some olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper on a baking sheet. Let roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until slighlty browned. Add the squash to the chili and continue to simmer for another hour and enjoy!