Sunday, October 20, 2013

Autumn Chili - Spicy & Sweet

This evening all 3 of my kids came for dinner. I made a big pot of my Spicy & Sweet Autumn Chili and my Easy Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits for dinner. Normally when I make it, I cook it on top of the stove. Today I decided to make it in the crock pot so I wouldn't be tied to the kitchen for a few hours while it cooked and could get some other things done. It turned out great. I doubled the recipe which made a humongous pot of chili. The only other change I made besides cooking it in the crock pot and doubling it is that in today's batch, I used all diced/cubed beef instead of half ground beef, half cubed beef. Also, instead of using regular sharp cheddar cheese, I grated Kerrygold's Ballyshannon (a strong white cheddar cheese). It turned out awesome! In my Autumn Chili, I don't add beans, I roast cubed butternut squash and add it to the bowls when I serve it (it's natural sweetness helps balance the spiciness of the chili -- and it screams AUTUMN is here). I also heated some beans separately for my kids to add to their chili, too. I'd like to share my experience and windfall with you while shopping at Costco yesterday. 

I had originally planned to buy a roast and cut it up myself...but in looking at their "beef for stew" packages, I asked the butcher what kind of meat they used (it looked nice). He said that it could be anything or most of the time Top Round. I asked him what he meant by "anything" and he said that if they were cutting a better cut of meat and had small pieces that they could use for stew beef that they frequently used that too. Then he said...for instance, those 2 packages of meat you have in your hand...the one in your right hand is all beef tenderloin/filet mignon. I said ALL of it (it looked really good and different than the other packs). He said guess which package I picked up??? LOL I made 8 quarts of chili using 4-1/4 pounds of beef tenderloin!!! It was the same price per pound ($3.89/lb) as the regular stew beef -- so for $16.38 I walked away with that much well trimmed, beautiful beef tenderloin! I felt like a thief...LOL. I have to tell you...I may never make 8 quarts of chili again using over 4 pounds of beef tenderloin...but it was some of the BEST chili I have ever eaten! After slow cooking for 8 hours, it was so tender, but still intact. So, for all you Costco shoppers out there...keep a close eye on the "beef for stew" as its may stumble upon a windfall like I did. You can bet that I will be checking it out each time I go now...I'm thinking beef stroganoff, beef burgundy, beef kabobs...the list is endless. I snapped a few photos for you to see below. Enjoy!

It was in larger chunks before I cut it down for chili here
My "beef for stew" was all beef tenderloin...can you believe that?
Right before the lid went on to slow cook for 8 hours...
I filled my 8-quart crock pot with chili -- I usually use this one for cooking turkey breasts


Spicy & Sweet Autumn Chili


1 lb. ground sirloin
1 lb. boneless beef chuck arm roast, diced into 1/2" cubes
2 - 3 tablespoons oil, to saute vegetables and brown beef
1 cup onion, diced
1-1/2 - 2 cups red, yellow or orange sweet bell peppers, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
5 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
   1 tablespoon chili powder
   1 teaspoon "chipotle chili powder" (or regular chili powder to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (or sweet paprika to reduce heat)
   1 teaspoon ground coriander
   1 teaspoon cumin (or roasted cumin)
   1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
   1 teaspoon oregano
   1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
   1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (including juice)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 6-oz. tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1-1/2 cups water (more or less, depending on preferred thickness)
4-6 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash, roasted


In a large stockpot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and quickly saute onion, sweet bell peppers, Poblano and jalapeno peppers until almost tender; add minced garlic and cook a couple more minutes, stirring frequently (covering the pan for a bit helps speed up cooking the veggies).   Using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and set aside on a platter.  Add additional tablespoon of oil and brown beef cubes well, until almost done.  Remove browned beef cubes and set aside on the platter along with the cooked pepper and onion mixture.  Add ground sirloin to the pot and brown quickly, breaking up and crumbling the beef as it cooks.  When the ground sirloin is cooked, add the platter of cooked beef cubes and pepper mixture back to the pot.   Add all the spices, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth and water and stir well.  Bring to a medium boil and taste to adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Cover the pot and turn heat to low and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours on low (if desired, at this point the chili can be placed into a crock-pot and cooked on low for 8 - 10 hours instead of simmering on top of the stove).  

Ladle chili into bowls and top with roasted butternut squash cubes (click here for recipe); top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.  Serves approximately 6.


CyberSis said...


It's definitely time to cook up some of this chili! Thanks for the heads- up on the stew meat. I usually just kind of glance over it ... however, it seems that sometimes it does look *very* nice. Will have to pay more attention from now on.

I love your still-life photo of the peppers ... gorgeous!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! You can be sure that I will be regularly checking out the stew beef from now on! :-) Glad you enjoyed the photo of the peppers...and hope you stumble upon a pack of "tenderloin stew beef" too! :-)

Darlene said...

It looks like sweet potato or squash in here too but I don't see it listed?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Darlene! Yes, it is roasted butternut squash -- I link the roasted butternut squash recipe near the end of the directions but will go back and add it into the ingredient list as "optional" since I know not everyone would want to add it. But, I think it helps make the dish -- roasted sweet potato would be great, too. :-)

Ann said...

This recipe was great. It was better than I thought it would be. Definitely a keeper.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Ann! Glad you enjoyed it! I finished the last of it for lunch today. :-)

CyberSis said...


We had this for supper tonight and we both enjoyed it very much. I really like the combo of the cubed and ground beef, and I think the butternut squash is a super addition! I did tread lightly on the "hot" stuff, though. I used only half of the poblano and jalapeno (the rest is chopped up in the freezer.) I simmered the chili on the stove all afternoon and the flavors really mellowed and blended nicely. It has a pleasant, subtle "warmth" but next time I'll be brave and use the entire amount of the peppers ... I don't think it'll make it too hot at all. As for now, I'm looking forward to the left-overs! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- Glad you enjoyed the chili. I agree it's better to tread lightly on the spice the first go round. What is spicy to me might be too hot for someone else or in the case of my brother who eats habaneros like M&Ms...he would think there was no spice in it whatsoever! You can always add more heat...but taking too much out...well, not so much! LOL Also, I have bought jalapenos that are small and some that are really large. Whenever I've made a recipe like that (chili in particular) where it is borderline too spicy, I usually stir sour cream into my bowl to cool it down a bit. Glad you enjoyed it though -- I know I loved the leftovers of that. :-)

slojane said...

I made this delicious chili in the crockpot yesterday! Kids and I loved it. Tonight, I'll make the buttermilk biscuits and serve it again. I used 1lb of ground beef and 2 huge meaty beef shanks that I diced. I add the bones to the crock pot which gave it even more flavor.

Your chicken enchiladas were a big hit as well. Next up is your lasagna!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Slojane -- so glad you and your family enjoyed the chili! Glad you liked the enchiladas, too and hope you enjoy the biscuits! My favorite biscuits are my Easy Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits -- if your family likes cheddar, those are worth trying! :-)

Mtnfoodie said...

Hi, Costco still does this for their stew meat. I found a great deal of beef tenderloin in my package this fall!

Mtnfoodie said...

Costco still does this with their stew meat. I found a great deal of beef tenderloin in the package I bought and the meat worker told me that it is their standard practice to include bits of better cuts.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi mtnfoodie!
That’s good to know. I thought I had won the lottery that day! I need to pick some up this weekend. It would be perfect to make during this bitter cold weather. 😀