Andie’s Original Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

Serves 20 as Main Dish.

This is my pumpkin chili, a standby at neighborhood block parties, especially the one held on Halloween. I serve it in those large “latte” cups so folks can eat it while wearing gloves, when out in the cold. It warms one from the inside out.
This is another original recipe developed over several years of “tinkering”….


3 1/2 to 4 pound Mexican pumpkin, cheese pumpkin, Kabocha or similar squash, butternut, etc.
2 pounds chopped beef or turkey (not finely ground)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 – 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced mild sweet red pepper (Bell is OK, Pimento or ripe mild Anaheim are better)
1 cup diced mild green chiles, Anaheim, Big Jim or New Mexico
1/2 cup Jalapeños, diced
3 cups beef or chicken broth.
1 teaspoon freshly ground dried red chiles, Colorado, New Mexico, Ancho or your preference.
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
(first toast the seeds in a dry iron skillet till they start to pop)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, including liquid
2 large cans tomato paste (used to be 8 oz., however they keep changing the amounts)
2 14.5 ounce cans black beans or dark red kidney beans, drained (or equivalent)
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
Optional – – 1 or 2 Habanero or other very hot peppers, very finely minced. (you can omit these if you do not want a searingly hot chili)

First, pierce the pumpkin or squash in several places with an ice pick or chef’s fork and place it on a pan in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer will penetrate easily through the flesh.

Meanwhile, while the pumpkin is baking,
Sauté the beef or turkey in a large saucier
As it is fairly well browned and is still giving off juices,
add the onion and garlic and cook for about 4-5 minutes or so.
Add the peppers (except for the Habanero) and continue cooking until they are tender.
Add the beef or chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the spices and continue simmering for 8 -10 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.

When cool enough to handle, split the pumpkin, remove the seeds and skin and chop into fairly small chunks and add to the meat mixture.
Return to heat and bring to a simmer.

Add the remaining ingredients, including the Habanero if you wish, otherwise a milder chile, and cook over medium low heat for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring often to keep from burning.

Serve, topped with a generous dollop of sour cream and finely chopped scallions or green onions and freshly baked cornbread, or tortillas if you have them available.
Also have finely shredded mild cheddar cheese, toasted pepitas, croutons and various crackers on side dishes for your guests to add as they wish

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