Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses.
Chili is a Fall / Winter powerhouse.
Here, the two are combined for a powerhouse of flavor.
First, make your tomato jam.
Yes, you heard me.
Trust me on this; you know I wouldn’t lead you astray in such matters.
Boil and peel 4 tomatoes, add to a saucepan, along with 1/2 c brown sugar, a broken cinnamon stick and a tablespoon of finely chopped preserved lemon, or lemon peel.
Cook on a low boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and after removing the cinnamon stick, set aside.
Cut 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and 1/2 a white onion into a small dice, and soften in a tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter.
This is a mirepoix [fancy, I know], and is your flavor base.
Once the vegetables are softened, add your tomato jam and let them joyfully marry.
At this point, you can, as an option, add a can / bottle of your favorite stout.
I chose Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, which is an incredible Russian Imperial stout, offered seasonally in the Fall.
Add a 32 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and 2 cups of vegetable stock.
You need to thicken it at this point, with a tablespoon of flour, cooked with a tablespoon of butter, until fully incorporated.
This is a roux [fancy, I know].
The French just understand how things should work.
Bring the pot to a boil, and you’ll then know what kind of thickness you’re dealing with.
If, at that point, you’d like yours thicker, you can add more roux, or if you’d like it looser, you can add more vegetable stock or filtered water.
Next, peel 2 large sweet potatoes, boil until fully cooked, let cool, then cut into large dice.
Add those, along with a regular can of both kidney beans and corn.
Lower heat to a simmer.
You need a tablespoon of our chili spice blend, which you really should go ahead and make a pint of to keep on hand throughout the cooler seasons.
You can find the recipe here:
Salt and pepper to taste.
This makes enough to feed a battalion [there’s the French again], which is smaller than an army, but still quite a number of people.
Note: If for any reason sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, here’s our Lentil Chili recipe to console you: