Black Bean, Chorizo & Sweet Potato Chili

My perpetual search for the perfect pot of chili began in earnest last month. I always clip recipes from various sources to aid me in my quest, and throw them in a file until the cold weather signals a return to crock pots and hearty bowls of steaming hot chili. Most recently, I’ve tried a beef and bean chili verde and a beef and San Marzano tomato chili. Both were alright, but not particularly worth sharing.

The real standout was the Black Bean, Chorizo & Sweet Potato Chili. I love the unique ingredient combination, the intense flavor pack from the chorizo and the ease of throwing all ingredients into a crock pot, only to return several hours later to a thick, bubbling spice-infused tomato sauce overflowing with tender sweet potatoes and black beans. And in my case, the crock pot was actually nearly overflowing. Turns out you shouldn’t try to stuff a list of ingredients meant for a six ounce crockpot into one half its size.

Black Bean, Chorizo & Sweet Potato Chili (from Taste of Home; makes 16 servings)

1 pound uncooked chorizo, casings removed, or spicy bulk pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 poblano peppers, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup lime juice

In a large pan, cook the chorizo, onion, poblanos and jalapenos over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until chorizo is cooked. Transfer to a six quart slow cooker.

Add the tomato paste, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, stock and spices; stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in lime juice. Serve with shredded pepper jack cheese and cilantro.

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