Imagine my happiness last week when I realized that a blob of beef I took out of the freezer turned out to be a blob of frozen lamb!!! I made some lamb burger patties back in August, and with everything that's been going on lately, I totally forgot I froze half of the purchased ground lamb. I was planing on making chili with the beef, and lamb chili sounded perfect to me, specially since I was going to make it all Autumny and add butternut squash. Doesn't that just sound good?
It is good.
I pretty much stuck to my no measuring, add the veggies and meet and cook it technique, just like with the beef one. The only difference is in some fresh herbs I added. However, I will post the recipe here of how I like to do it, but know to adjust the final seasonings to your taste.
I made this one in a crock pot. I make my chili in both crock pot and on the stove pot, do whatever works for you best, the only difference is that if you are cooking it on the stove pot, you just leave everything in the big pot you sauteed your veggies and meet it and you add the liquids, cooking it for hour and a half on medium to low heat.
Lamb and Butternut Squash Chili
2 lbs of ground lamb
4 to 5 cups of beef or chicken stock
1 large onion
1 large stick of celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cans of red kidney beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh time
1 tsp of chopped rosemary
1 tsp ground all spice
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder (this is not spicy chili at all, I make it for my kiddo as well so adjust to your liking)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp of tomato concentrate
1 Tbsp of sugar or honey
salt and pepper
This ingredient is totally optional, I grate couple of large carrots in, it adds to the sweetness and I try to get any and all vegetables I can get in the food, because of my son. Besides, it falls apart and you will not even know it's there.
3 cups of roasted butternut squash
(please go to my prosciutto and butternut squash post here for instructions on roasted butternut squash)
In a large pan saute the onions until translucent, then add the garlic for about half a minute, until you can smell it nicely. Then add the bell peppers and the celery and saute for a few more minutes.
Add the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Cook only to brown it and then transfer to your crock pot.
Add the liquid, tomatoes, beans, all the spices and sugar to the crock pot and cook on medium for about 6 to 8 hours. In the last hour of cooking, add the butternut squash.
You can serve it as is with just a dollop of sour cream (how I like it) or add the whole works of sour cream, fresh onions and cilantro and grated cheese, like my husband likes it. This time, I served it in some bread bowls and it was so yummy that even my picky eater Mika asked for more. Even though I might have told him that butternut squash is a super extra special cheese that Papa Smurf sent to me in a mail, specially for him. Yeah, you don't even want to know all the stories happening here to get the veggies in...