This experiment turned out WAY better than I thought it would. The complex flavors from the cocoa powder and ancho chili powder are a perfect balance with the rich short ribs. The nutty butternut squash is a winner to balance the heat.
It makes a ton so call some friends!
Butternut squash, short ribs & black bean chili
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 pounds short ribs, bone in
- 1 leek, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T ancho chili powder
- 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ T cumin
- 1 can Rotel (I used hot with habanero)
- 1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (pulverized with your fingers)
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 14 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt & pepper and add to pan. Cook about 8-10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add onion and leeks and cook another 8-10 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, chili powder, cocoa, and cumin and cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the rotel, tomatoes, beef broth & water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
Add butternut squash and simmer for another hour, until beef and squash are tender. Remove the ribs from the pot & shred the meat. Discard the bones. Add the shredded meat back to the pot with the black beans and cook for 15 more minutes.
Serve with cornbread & garnish with cilantro!