Pumpkin Chili

This recipe feeds five of us for about three meals.

3 white onions, diced
2 TBS bacon grease
5 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 cloves diced garlic

3 pounds ground beef, 85 percent lean
1 pound bulk pork sausage (My favorite for this recipe is sweet Italian sausage. The soothing herbs and spices in it pair well with the other flavors in this dish. Or use chorizo for an extra kick of heat.)

2 TBS smoky paprika
2 TBS mild chili powder
2 ½ TBS cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cube baking chocolate
OR skip the five flavoring ingredients here and use 2 Tablespoons Chocolate Chili Spice

8 cups homemade veggie stock*
1 can pumpkin

I like to get everything cooking at once: 1 skillet of vegetables to saute in bacon fat, and 2 skillets browning the meat. You could use one skillet and cook in three or four batches.

Saute the onions in the bacon grease, adding the celery, bell pepper and garlic. Actually I guess I sweat the vegetables, as there are far too many of them to put in a single or even a double layer in the skillet.

Brown the meats. Drain off the meat grease.

Add the meats to the vegetables in a big soup pot. While the meats are on top, all hot and sizzling, add the paprika, chili powder, cumin and baking chocolate. Stir everything up.

Add the homemade veggie stock and the can of pumpkin.

Let it simmer for an hour and a half. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over or reduce more than you want it to.

*If you are using a purchased stock, you can use beef or chicken. You can probably use 6 cups of purchased stock, and let it all simmer for just about an hour. Storebought stock is usually more reduced than mine.

For a yummy breakfast, use leftover chili and bring it to a simmer. Crack eggs into the chili and let them poach.

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