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Author Notes: Can you feel the chill in the air? Nights are getting cooler and days are getting shorter.
If you're living amongst deciduous trees, leaves are changing from green to yellow and orange and red. Soon, the color will drain from their quaking bodies, and with that, they will fall to the ground to crunch beneath our boots.
Two years ago, this recipe won 1st place in the Ames Farmers Market chili cooking contest. As a Paleo chili recipe, the ingredients include meats and veggies - free from the usual legumes, beans and other grains. —Savannah Wishart
- 3 pounds grass-fed ground beef
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 16 pieces nitrate-free bacon
- 2 parsnips
- 4 purple carrots
- 2 red onions
- 2 red peppers
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 28 oz cans of whole peeled plum tomatoes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups butternut squash soup
- to taste salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake two sweet potatoes in the oven until soft (about 45 minutes). Set aside until cool enough to peel.
- Fry the bacon. Once fried and cool, chop into small pieces. Save 2 TBSP of bacon grease to fry the vegetables with.
- Chop the vegetables, remaining sweet potatoes, tomato paste, and garlic. Fry in a pan with bacon grease until the vegetables are soft (note that the parsley takes a bit longer to soften; you can chop it into smaller pieces to shorten the time). Pierce with a fork to check the tenderness.
- In a separate pan or cast iron skillet, fry the ground beef until browned.
- In a large pot, add the sweet potato from the oven with 1-2 cups of broth. Mash or puree the sweet potato until it reaches a creamy consistency. Alternatively, you can add the sweet potato and broth to a blender to make it smoother.
- Add the cooked vegetables, bacon, and ground beef to the large pot. Heat the large pot on medium-high.
- Add the spices and tomatoes.
- Cook until the flavors have saturated and the beef is fully cooked. If using a crockpot, this takes 4-8 hours; if using the stovetop and short for time, this takes 1-2 hours, depending how strong you want the flavors.
- In the last hour of cooking, add the butternut squash soup. This makes for a better consistency (I think!). Add more or less, depending how thick you want your chili.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Savory (Winter) Squash Recipe