An Ethel Among Mermans (thornwolf) wrote,
An Ethel Among Mermans
thornwolf

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"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:
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/paleo-halloween-recipes/#s9

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.
Photobucket


Ingredients

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.

Photobucket

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.
Tags: food
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