Skiing is about the only thing that makes winter bearable for me. I hate the cold, but I love the snow, love skiing, and love being out in fresh air for a whole day.
And when I come home after a long day of skiing, I love having a big bowl of hot and steamy chili. Is there anything better after being out in the cold all day?
I wanted to share this Sweet Potato Chili recipe I made for Randall Beans recently. This chili has bite sized sweet potato pieces and raisins, and both add a touch of sweetness to the whole dish, which is a perfect complement to the spice. The idea of adding raisins is something I got from Aldo’s mom – she always adds raisins to food that has ground beef, such as empanadas and pastelon de arroz. The sweetness of the raisins next to the savory flavor of meat is always a delicious combination.
I also added a touch of cinnamon to this chili for a bit of depth. But don’t worry, the cinnamon and raisins in the chili do not make it taste like a breakfast cinnamon raisin bagel. You barely notice the two ingredients in the dish as you are eating it, but they do add a layer of depth to the flavor and make everything so good.
Is there anything better than a hot bowl of chili on a cold day?
1 yellow onion, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb ground beef
1 28 oz jar diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
1 large sweet potato (~12 oz), chopped into bite sized pieces
24 oz jar Randall Beans Deluxe Mixed Beans, drained and rinsed (3 cups Mixed Beans)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, chopped green onions
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the diced onion for 5 minutes over medium heat. Transfer the sautéed onion to a ~5-quart soup pot.
Add the rest of the olive oil (2 tablespoons) to the same skillet, and cook the ground beef over high heat for about 5 minutes or until it is browned, using a spatula to break up the beef. Transfer the browned beef to the soup pot. The beef does not have to be fully cooked yet.
To the same soup pot, add the next 12 ingredients (diced tomatoes through raisins) and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil. When the chili is boiling crack open the lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and the chili has thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For some extra heat add another ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot with optional garnish.