Texas Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin and beef Texas chili

A very strong flavored, hot and filling dish perfect for the colder times that are coming. A dish like that is at the essence of what comfort food is. Of course, in the spirit of the paleo diet, we forget the beans in this Texan chili recipe, focusing instead on the flavors of the beef, pumpkin and tomatoes.


  • Beef and pumpkin chili 
  • 6 large chilies of your favorite kind;
  • 1 cup diced bacon;
  • 4 cups chopped onions;
  • 5 pound stewing beef, cut into 3 inch cubes;
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled;
  • 2 tbsp chili powder;
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds;
  • 1 tsp dried oregano;
  • 1 tsp ground coriander;
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt;
  • 2 cans roasted and diced tomatoes (yielding about 3 cups);
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock;
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro stems (keeping the leaves for garnish);
  • 4 cups pumpkin cut into 2 inch cubes;


  1. Place the chilies in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  3. Sauté the bacon in a oven proof pot until it begins to brown. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beef to the pot, season generously with salt and pepper and stir to coat everything well. Set the pot aside.
  4. Drain the chilies and reserve the soaking liquid. Place the chilies in a blander with 1 cup of the soaking liquid, the garlic, chili powder, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander and the sea salt. Blend to a puree and add more of the soaking liquid if the puree is too thick.
  5. Add the chilies puree to the pot with the beef with the tomatoes, stock and cilantro stems. Stir well to coat.
  6. Bring the whole pot to a simmer and then cover and put in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.
  7. Uncover and cook for another hour, until beef is almost fork tender.
  8. Add the pumpkin  and stir well. Roast again uncovered for about 45 minutes, until pumpkin is soft, adding some of the soaking liquid if the meat becomes uncovered.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and serve with garnishes like cilantro leaves, mint leaves, chopped red onion or diced avocado.


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