Winter is that time of year when I find myself craving warm, hearty, comforting foods like stews and chiles. I also find myself with a plethra of squash. Tiring of pies and breads, I figure the next best thing to do with the endless squash supply is add it to a slow-cooked and satisfying chili.
I enjoy using my slow-cooker to make one pot meals a breeze. It helps by making clean-up easier as well as saving energy and time. I can forget about the meal and put my time into other things while it cooks. If you don’t have a crockpot, you can use this recipe for your stovetop or woodburner; it’s fun to get more than just heat from your woodburner. Just put all the ingredients into a stockpot & let the fire do the work for you.
Ingredients to wrangle up:
1 lb ground meat of your choice
1 large red onion
3 large peppers (I use 3 different colors)
2 sliced garlic cloves
3-4 large tomatoes
2 1/2 c pumpkin
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp chili powder
2-3 shakes of sage
1/2 tsp summer savory
1/2 tsp cilantro or parsely
pepper, salt & cayenne to taste
1. Brown meat in a skillet until cooked. Drain fat and transfer meat to your crockpot.
2. Cut onion, peppers & pumpkin into large chunks and then cook for just a minute or two or until slightly browned, using the pan you used to cook the meat. Transfer to crockpot.
3. Dice tomatoes & transfer to crockpot, careful to transfer any juice as well.
4. Add seasonings & cook on low for 3-4 hours.
Rushed on time? Skip browning the onions, peppers & pumpkin. This step isn’t necessary, but if you have a few minutes to spare it may be worth the extra flavor it brings.
We raise pigs and I look for any chance I can to use pork sausage in a recipe. Using this sausage in my chili adds that “something extra” to the flavor of the dish. Use whatever meat you prefer.