Hearty Homestyle

Beef Chili with Butternut Squash

Although uncommon in chili recipes, squash and pumpkin create an incredible accompaniment to rich, stewed beef. Both cubed beef stew meat and ground chuck are included in this recipe for texture, but feel free to use all ground chuck.(DTN/Progressive Farmer image by Rachel Johnson)

Serves: 8

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound cubed stew meat

1 white onion, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

2 cups hot salsa

1 3½-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 12-ounce beer (Guinness or other dark lager)

1 cup water

1 15½-ounce can pumpkin puree

Toppings: avocado slices, sour cream, jalapeños, etc.

1. Brown ground chuck and stew meat.

2. Combine all ingredients except pumpkin puree and toppings in a slow cooker. Cook on high 4 hours, or low 8 hours. Squash should be tender and vegetables cooked.

3. About 15 minutes prior to serving, stir in pumpkin puree. Heat through. Add more water if soup is too thick. Enjoy with toppings and serve with cornbread, if desired.

Note: To make this without a slow cooker: Brown meat and sauté onions and bell pepper in a large soup pot. Roughly chop chipotle peppers and add to pot. Next add squash, beer, salsa and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, or until slightly thickened. Add pumpkin 15 minutes before serving and heat through.