Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Beef Chili

When I wrote my first post in April 2015, I was pretty thrilled to be starting something new and seeing where it would go. Maybe meeting other bloggers on the way and getting to know a little bit about them and forming online blogships 🙂 Getting out of my zone and throwing some creativity into my routine of constantly following recipes. Learning new methods, cooking techniques and ingredients I would have never thought to use.

Now, a year into it, I marvel at the food blogs I come across and am subscribed to because of their style, content, photography, and how amazing some of them are. Perusing through these blogs, I sometimes ‘meh’ my blog and think of ways to make it fun and interesting. After all, there are avenues to take and resources to use in creating traffic, etc.  I am slowly making an effort when I come out of my lazy cloud but at other times, I think that it’s fine to have an okay blog and be relaxed about it. Not to fret or get disappointed if it’s not popular in blogland. Right now, I am in between ‘I like it and I’m damn proud’ and ‘wow, am I pathetic or what’. There is so much I don’t know…

Let’s start with what I do know and that is to make chili. I am sure there are many, many chili recipes similar to the one I made but I claim this one. Its mine! I made so much that we ate this for days and didn’t mind because you know what, it was beer-y good.

Chili Stuff
This is the stuff you need–butternut squash, 1 onion, 2 sweet potatoes, bunch of sweet peppers, 3 cloves of garlic or more if you like, a pound and something of ground beef, 2 cans of beans (any kind). I used pinto and black. You see a bottle of beer but I ended up using two bottles of espresso stout. If you don’t like the coffee taste in your chili, pick a beer you would prefer.

If the butternut squash looks too intimidating and time consuming, you can always get  it pre-cut. I like to torture myself 🙂 No, really, it’s not that much work.

butternut squash
See, it only took me 2 hours. I’m kidding! I usually cut it in half in the middle, peel it using a peeler and scoop out the innards then chop it up. Try not to get any pieces of finger in there.
chopped butternut squash
This is sweet potato and squash. I did not use all of it, just however much my slow cooker could take, and froze the rest. No fingers? Nope. All good!
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Chop up your onion and peppers. Try not to get any tears or, uh, you know, in the chili.
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Mince the garlic and if your slow cooker is like mine, you can saute in it and then slow cook. Add some oil. I almost burned the garlic because I let the cooker heat up too much while I was, ahem, taking pictures. Almost is the key word here 😉
Ingredients
Throw in the peppers and onions and saute for a few minutes–don’t forget this will cook for 3 hours or more so a few minutes is enough.
Chili spices
In the meantime, let’s see what we can add. Beer, of course, cocoa powder, cinnamon, sweet smoked paprika and something called ‘WhoopAss’ which contains a bunch of chilies and spices like cumin, fennel, oregano and so on. It also has maple sugar, garlic and onion.
WhoopAss Spice!
I purchased this at my favorite store–The Cookery. This spice smells amazing and is guaranteed to Whoop Ass.
Beef
In goes the beef and cook until the color turns. Add the spices. I used 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of cocoa, 1 tsp paprika (you can use regular or hot Hungarian paprika if you wish), and 1 tbsp of WhoopAss. Play around with the quantities and spices and make it your own. Everyone’s taste buds are different. I added 1 tsp cumin even though WhoopAss already has cumin because I love cumin! Add some salt and pepper.
Chili
Go on, add them beans. Give it a good mix why dontchya.
Chili
Throw in them squash and potatoes.
Chili
Finish it off with a bottle or two of beer. Go on, take a swig. Taste to see it it needs some more spices or salt. I cooked mine on low and it was done in 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Butternut Squash and sweet potato Chili
Ready to be eaten.
Chili
Leave it naked or…
Chili
dress it up with some scallions, cheese, crispy fried onions, tortilla chips and sour cream. Hey, I couldn’t decide so I added them all! Make some cornbread to go with it. I did.

SlOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH, SWEET POTATO AND BEEF CHILI

Author: Yours Truly

INGREDIENTS:

Ground beef or turkey or chicken (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

1 butternut squash (peeled and chopped)

1 or 2 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)

Bunch of sweet peppers (chopped)

1 yellow onion (or any kind-chopped)

3 or more cloves of garlic (minced)

2  15.5 oz cans of beans (any kind-drained)

1 or 2 bottles of beer (any kind)

1 tbsp oil

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp of cocoa

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin powder (if you wish)

1 tbsp of WhoopAss (or a combination of any spices you like)

Salt and pepper to taste

Scallions, cilantro, cheese, fried onions, chips and sour cream for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and chop your vegetables. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Drain the beans. Add oil to your slow cooker or pan (if your slow cooker does not have the saute option) Add the minced garlic to the oil and saute for a few minutes. Add peppers and onions and let cook for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring until it turns color. Add the spices and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the beans and stir. Add the squash and potatoes and mix well. Pour in the beer. Taste and add salt and/or spices if necessary. Cook on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Check after 3 hours to see if done. Grab a bowl, place a good amount of chili in it, garnish if you like and dig in!

 

 

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