Beef and Butternut Chili is a filling and satisfying dish that is bursting with flavor and melt in your mouth pieces of chuck steak! Super tender tender beef, sweet butternut squash, and carrots put this chili over the top delicious!
I received compensation for writing this post from New York Beef Council. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
John and Kathi's homestead is just south of my home, about a 20 minute drive, right in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. What a gorgeous view they have from their home.
The glorious view on the opposite side of John and Kathi's home, is the old homestead of John's family. They don't own this property anymore, but if they had of, I would have LOVED to have had a tour of that home!
This farm has been in business since the 1780's. A 3rd generation farm, whose origin was a dairy farm. John and Kathi however moved out of the dairy farming industry and went into raising beef cattle. They produce seed stock which is farming a supply of animals for breeding purposes.
I am super impressed with the knowledge and in awe of the work that John and Kathi do on their farm. They are farmers who love what they do, who love their animals, and who want to provide the best then can for the future consumers. I may have grown up in the dairy industry (which is very different from this!) but the passion is still the same for the farmers in the beef industry as it is in the dairy industry!
Being a farmer raising cattle for seed stock requires a lot of work and knowledge. Breeding season is from May to July during which time there is a bull in with the cows. Then in the fall, the cows have a pregnancy check and calving season is from January thru March.
While the cows are in the pasture with their babies, they are fed by their mommas. One particular baby that the Wagners have this year is an orphan who has been bottle fed since birth. This little baby looks to the people as her momma and you should see her come on the run when she sees them!
Caring for the animals also means making sure they have a good source of water and feed. The Wagners have water tanks that hold a 1000 pounds of water along with four large pastures that they rotate the cattle in. In the field I was able to mingle with the cattle and I also leared the term "Black Baldies". This is a cow with a black body and white face and is a crossbred Angus to Herford. The Black Baldie are known as efficient maternal and feeder cattle.
I learned terms like "work the animals" and "handling". The cattle go through 2 different rounds of immunizations, testings, and pregnancy checks. Weighed at birth, during weaning, and when they are yearlings. Babies have to nurse from their momma within 6 hours and have their navels dipped within 24 hours. The bull calves are castrated unless they are going to be used for breeding in the future.
At the end of the day, we were treated to a delicious meal made by Jean O'Toole, Executive Director of the New York Beef Council. During our dinner conversation I learned about the "hot beef sundae". This dish is pretty much like a mashed potato bowl with beef and gravy, topped with a cherry tomato. I almost made that recipe for you to share, but decided that I felt more like a spicy chili recipe! However, I still make blog about the hot beef sundae in the future!
Having this "farm to table experience" showed me just how much goes into making sure our food is safe for consumption as well as the love put into the work of raising the cattle. For this I am very appreciative and am so glad I am able to share with you a piece of my experience!
Beef and Butternut Squash Chili
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon canola oil , divided
- 1½ pounds lean boneless chuck steak , trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup green bell pepper , diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ jalapeno chili pepper , diced
- ⅔ cup dry red wine
- 1½ teaspoons ground ancho chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 28 ounce whole tomatoes , undrained and chopped
- 15 ounce kidney beans , rinsed and drained
- 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro optional
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray and add 1 teaspoon oil. Add been to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Saute 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef.
- Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute 3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil and scrape the pan. Cook 2 minutes. Return beef to pan.
- Stir in the spices and add the tomatoes and kidney beans to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add Butternut squash and carrots. Simmer for 1 more hour or until vegetables are tender.
- Serve with fresh cilantro (if using)