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Cooking with Larry: Harvest Moon Chili

When I heard we were having a chili cook-off, I knew I had to submit an entry. Chili can be prepared so many different ways, but the flavors can become a bit monotonous. One of the categories for judging in our chili cookoff was "originality", so I figured I could have a little fun with this recipe and bank on some style points. I didn't win the competition, but my chili was completely gone by the end of the contest. I'll take that outcome any day. Also, as a devout foodie, it was pretty darn cool serving celebrity chef, Michael Psilakis, a bowl of my very own chili. Inspired by the changing of the seasons here in the lower Hudson Valley region of New York, I created a chili using pumpkin, sweet potato, black beans and some subtle aromatics. Here's my recipe for a fall inspired chili.

Harvest Moon Chili

Ingredients:

1 pound bacon

1 pound London broil

1 cup diced pumpkin (skinned)

1 cup diced sweet potato (skinned)

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced green pepper

1 cup diced orange pepper

1 cup franks hot sauce

1 pint of Sam Adams Octoberfest

1 pound of chopped, canned tomatoes

1 pound of black beans

2 tablespoons of cumin

2 tablespoons garam masala

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon cayenne

1 cinnamon stick

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

Coat the London broil with salt and pepper, sear it off for 3 minutes on each side. Set beef aside.

In a deep cake pan, place your bacon side by side and bake for 20 minutes. When the bacon is done, transfer the bacon grease to a dutch oven and set your stovetop burner to medium heat. Be careful! The bacon grease is HOT and there should be plenty of it. Remove the bacon from the cake pan and place aside with the London broil.

Saute the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, onions, and peppers in the bacon grease. Once these ingredients begin to reduce and become translucent, add all of the spices. The mixture should become pasty and fragrant. When that occurs, add the pint of Sam Adams Octoberfest. Let that simmer and reduce for 10 minutes. Add your tomatoes, black beans, and the cinnamon stick and turn the burner off.

Dice the bacon and London broil into bite sized cubes and add it to the dutch oven. Place the dutch oven in the regular oven and cook for 3 hours. When you're ready to serve the chili, make sure you fish out the cinnamon stick. (It shouldn't be too hard to find if you use a slotted spoon.) Lastly, put this video on repeat and enjoy!

About the Author: Larry is a friend of House Party. Larry currently resides in the East Bay region of California. He enjoys all things wine related, and spends a lot of his free time in Napa and Sonoma learning about wine. Larry is also a Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. He enjoys practicing, watching, analyzing and commentating on all things MMA. Larry also enjoys cooking, fine dining, entertaining and hanging out with Maximus, his Jack Russell Terrier.

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House Party Chili Cook-off