Yes, another use for pumpkin puree, and one that not only surprised me by its innovativeness, but also by how damn good it was. Pumpkin puree as a secret ingredient of chilli? Who would have guessed? And yet my first thought when eating this was not the seven different types of vegetable in there (ok, so at least three of them are fruits if we’re being pedantic) but how meaty this chilli was. This is filling enough to have without rice, or bread, and frankly saintly in terms of all the different fruits and veggies in there. Serve this with a huge dollop of sour cream,a hunk of mature cheddar on top and a big grin on your face.
Pumpkin and black bean chilli
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil, via Erin’s Food Files and Serious Eats
Love and Olive Oil recommend adding some stock to this to thin it out a little. However, I really like the thick, meaty consistency that the recipe below produces. If you prefer a thinner sauce or want to simmer it for longer add some water or a cup of stock after all the spices are added.
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red chilli pepper, sliced (and deseeded if you don’t want it too hot)
250g beef mince
250g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red pepper, chopped
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 tin (400g) black beans
1 cup (250ml) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
1. In a large saucepan saute the onion in a drizzle of oil until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chilli pepper and cook for another couple of minutes, until the garlic starts to gently brown.
2. Turn the heat up and add the minced beef until it is cooked through.
3. In a small bowl microwave the chopped pumpkin for 8 minutes or until soft. Add this to the saucepan, along with the red pepper and cherry tomatoes and stir. Add the tin of tomatoes, the black beans and the pumpkin puree, then add the spices and season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until ready to serve. Taste again before serving.
Serves 3, or 4-5 if serving over rice.