Cocoa-Kissed Beef and Delicata Squash Chili

Serves 4

-1 pound ground beef
-2 slices bacon, diced
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder (I use Rapunzel, which is my absolute favorite)
-1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (Note: this yielded some pretty hot chili for my taste buds so if you’re looking for something mild to medium in heat I would recommend halving this)
-1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
-1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-8 Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped (alternately you could use one 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped and in their liquid. I used Romas because they were fresh from the CSA, but when tomatoes are out of season canned is a much better bet.)
-1 cup low sodium beef broth
-1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
-1 6 ounce can tomato paste
-1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed delicata squash
-1 cup fresh corn kernels


Cook beef, bacon, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well.

Return the beef mixture to the pot and add the next 12 ingredients (through tomato paste) and stir the mixture well to combine. Add the squash and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Stir in corn and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until squash is tender and chili is thick.

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