Three Sisters Chipotle Chili


In this recipe, pureed winter squash takes the place of tomatoes as the base of the chili. The addition of black beans and corn gives us all three of the American Indian mythical sisters. I like this chili made with pork, but you could substitute tempeh or leave the meat out all together. Serves 10.

2 TB sunflower oil or lard
3lbs pork chops cut into 3/4 cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 lg. onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup lager, such as Otter Creek Vermont Lager
1 cup chicken or vegetable both
3 cups pureed winter squash
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 chopped chipotle chilies in adobo, plus 2 tsp sauce (or more to taste)
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups cooked black beans
2 cups cooked Jacob’s Cattle or other white beans
1/4 cup maple syrup, or to taste
apple cider (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat oil or lard in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides in batches. Reserve browned pork on the side. Add onion and garlic to empty pan, sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and turning brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add lager and broth, stirring to deglaze the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer rapidly for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Add squash, cumin oregano and chilies. Bring to a simmer. Add browned pork and both types of beans. Add syrup, to taste. If chili is too thick for your liking, add extra broth or apple cider as needed. Add frozen corn. Bring back to a simmer. Cover and bake in a 350F oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Serve warm, garnished with a dollop of crème fraiche and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

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