Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 20, 2021
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Harvest beef chili

What could be more perfect when the weather is nippy than a bowl of nice hot chili?

3 tbsp. (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ lb. (567 g) well-marbled beef chuck, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
¼ c. (60 ml) flour
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) ground coriander
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp. (5 ml) paprika
1 tsp. (5 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ancho chili powder
2 tbsp. (30 ml) tomato paste
1½ lb. (680 g) pumpkin (or another winter squash like kabocha), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch/2.5-cm) chunks (about 6 c./1.5 L)
1½ tsp. (7.5 ml) salt
1¾ c. (430 ml) cooked pinto beans or 1 can (15 oz./425 g), rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a 5- or 6-quart (5- or 6-L) Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add the beef in batches (so it browns, rather than steams) and cook until browned all over, 7 minutes. As you work, transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan, and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 7 minutes.

Stir in the coriander, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder and chili powder. Return the meat to the pan and stir until well coated. Stir in 1½ cups (375 ml) water, the tomato paste, pumpkin and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.

Stir in the beans, return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


• Once the stew is finished cooking, add enough broth to make it soupy. Stir in a 10-ounce (284-gram) package of frozen corn kernels and a couple of handfuls of toasted tortilla chips. Serve with hot sauce on the side.
• Use pork shoulder instead of beef and black beans instead of pinto beans. Use a green bell pepper instead of red, and serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro on the side.

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