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"Paleo" Texas Pumpkin and Beef Chili - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
"Paleo" Texas Pumpkin and Beef Chili
We've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile, but skorzy finds it unfitting to eat "cold weather" food when we don't really have cold weather here in SoCal. With the blustery winter winds we've been experiencing this week, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull out a stick-to-your-ribs meal!

This recipe is taken and modified from http://www.paleodietlifestyle.com, specifically one of their Halloween recipes which can be found here:

The problem I found with this recipe right off the bat, it's entirely too much food. We're a 3 person household, 5 lbs of beef creates just WAY too many leftovers, so we've halved the recipe provided, with some modifications (such as more garlic! You can never have too much garlic).

Also, we had a hard time finding any pumpkin. It would seem that with Halloween and Thanksgiving passing, pumpkins just aren't that popular, and I couldn't find any frozen chunks, so I had to substitute butternut squash.

Last month we dried our own Pasilla chilies from this fall's harvest and rehydrated them for this recipe. We also used some fresh jalapeños from our garden.


6 large chilies of your favorite kind (we used 4 dried pasillas and 2 jalapeños)
1/2 cup diced bacon
2 cups chopped onions (we used sweet yellow onions)
2 1/2 pound stewing beef, cut into 3 inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, peeled;
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 can roasted and diced tomatoes (we bought "fire roasted" canned tomatoes)
3/4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems (keeping the leaves for garnish)
3 cups frozen butternut squash cubes, thawed

Place the chilies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Sauté the bacon in a oven proof pot until it begins to brown. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beef to the pot, season generously with salt and pepper and stir to coat everything well. Set the pot aside.
Drain the chilies and reserve the soaking liquid. Place the chilies in a blander with 1 cup of the soaking liquid, the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and the sea salt. Blend to a puree and add more of the soaking liquid if the puree is too thick.
Add the chilies puree to the pot with the beef with the tomatoes, stock and cilantro stems. Stir well to coat.
Bring the whole pot to a simmer and then cover and put in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.
Uncover and cook for another hour, until beef is almost fork tender.
Add the pumpkin and stir well. Roast again uncovered for about 45 minutes, until pumpkin is soft, adding some of the soaking liquid if the meat becomes uncovered.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with garnishes like cilantro leaves, mint leaves, chopped red onion or diced avocado.


Sorry for the photo, this was skorzy's round 2 bowl (with cilantro, sour cream and avocado), it was that good, we forgot to photograph it before digging in!

Honestly it turned out more like a flavorful stew with a kick to it than a chili. If I were going to do it over again I would cut the stew meat into smaller chunks and add sweet potatoes or yams into it and call it a stew. Some argue this isn't adhering to Paleo diets but meh. I eat them, and I'm not going whole-hog anyways, I'm just limiting my grains and cooking Paleo and gluten-free recipes when available. It was VERY good and VERY flavorful though. We will be doing this again in the future.

Current Mood: full full

10 comments or Leave a comment
selunca From: selunca Date: December 24th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always love you're cooking posts. I'd try this but Mark hates squashes and onions so I'd be doomed to eat it all myself. :P

You should totally make a cookbook of some of your favorite recipes of late. I'd totally get one from you!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 5th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd thought about it but I don't know how I'd handle content I didn't make myself? I mean what's the copyright laws on recipes? I modify almost everything anyways, but I still get them from a source XD Maybe someday. I could make it a silly simple thing like "Thorn's Favorites" or something.
selunca From: selunca Date: January 5th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
To be honest, I'm not sure how to handle the content you don't make yourself. You could always contact the publisher and see if their okay with you re-using them. But you do change or make enough of a difference with food I'm not sure if it really matters.

I'd totally buy one though. :P
commodoremarie From: commodoremarie Date: December 24th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn, this looks great. I think I'm going to try this sometime this week. A good stew sounds like just the thing now. I'll go with your suggestion and add the sweet potatoes, too!
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 5th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Your icon is crazy cute oh my god.
commodoremarie From: commodoremarie Date: January 5th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm excited I actually had a chance to whip it out this year, I haven't done much LJing. I love it, so devious yet so cute! Whole picture (by dankesque) is even more soul-melting.

Sorry for the edits, apparently I've forgotten how to code properly here.

Edited at 2012-01-05 11:37 pm (UTC)
danielcoon From: danielcoon Date: December 25th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to have to try this next week. Probably with extra chiles.

I'll second the idea of a cookbook. I bet it would sell.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: January 5th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
If I did one I'd have to be careful about making it specifically "to sell" because I don't know the copyright laws on recipes. I don't make a lot of these recipes up, I've found them online and have modified them (or in some cases, not at all). So, I dunno!
commodoremarie From: commodoremarie Date: January 5th, 2012 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can't copyright a recipe, just the presentation of recipes in a book. No recipe is protected in-and-of itself, so you're safe - even if you copy it exactly. Just can't copy the whole cookbook!

That said, you seem to make your own tweaks on everything, anyway, so you'd be doubly-protected. I would so totally buy that book, too.

Edited at 2012-01-05 11:37 pm (UTC)
was1 From: was1 Date: December 25th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds yummy.
Merry Christmas!
10 comments or Leave a comment