Did the summer always end this abruptly? It seems like the days of scrumptious salads, quick stir-fries and endless BBQs are finally over. As sad and disappointing as this is it’s also an excuse to get back eating delicious comfort foods. Back to pasta bakes, stuffed sweet potato and slow cooked roasts.
One of my favourite comfort foods is pumpkin (or butternut squash depending on what you can get). This recipe combines incredible roasted pumpkin and a dish that’s always a favourite, Chilli Con Carne.
- 400g of lean beef mince
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 8 tomatoes, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 tin of kidney beans
- 1 small tin of chipotle chillies (You can pick these up in Picado Mexican, Portabello)
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- 1 red chilli
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, or thyme if you can’t get that.
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of grated cheese
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Cut the butternut squash in half, length ways, then remove the top. Keep this for another dish. Remove the seeds from the cavity. Rub the halves with olive oil and season. Wrap the halves in tinfoil and place on a baking tray for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or pan. Once hot add the onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it because you don’t want to burn the garlic. Add the mince and cook for about 5 minutes until brown.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and give it a good stir. Add some dried chilli flakes at this point if you want to make it hotter. Cover, reduce the heat to a light simmer and allow to cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Check on it every now and again to make sure it’s not boiling over or to much liquid isn’t cooking off.
- When the pumpkin is done remove from foil. Check that the pumpkin is tender. Cover the top of the pumpkin evenly with cheese and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin. Divide the chilli among the pumpkin halves and serve with some avocado or if you like some corn, lime, coriander and sour cream.
Everyone has a different chilli recipe. I make a lot of mine in the slow cooker but chilli tastes just as good from a pan or big pot. I like my smokey and hot, hence the chipotles! You can use different chillies to make yours milder or hotter.