Monday, March 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef

Sweet and spicy chili that simmers in the slow cooker for an easy supper. This chili has beef, sweet potatoes, 3 kinds of beans, corn, peppers and Hatch chiles for amazing flavor

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef | Farm Fresh Feasts

When my friend Mary brought her Sweet Potato and Black Bean chili to the thrift shop for lunch, I spooned up that bowl of spicy comfort and was smitten.  Mary's chili, adapted from The Clueless Vegetarian (Amazon affiliate link) was spicy yet went down smoothly, and like all great chilies each person can customize their bowl with a variety of toppings.
I don't know about you, but I tend to become smitten with foods and cook them over and over.  Being a seasonal eater works well with this tendency, because I'm always moving onto what's up next, seasonally, and don't really have time to get into food ruts. At least it works well when fresh vegetables are appearing each week in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box!  During the winter months I tend to rely on the produce that can store longer, like the sweet potatoes and butternut squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, as well as vegetables I've canned or frozen.
I was so smitten with this chili that I made it several times. Each time I loved it even more.  My kids gobbled it up.  Shoot, it was even the first leftover my spouse scrounged out of the fridge when he returned from his most recent deployment.  The combination of colorful beans and sweet potatoes from this chili inspired my Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef | Farm Fresh Feasts

Serving chili is a great meal for a variety of eaters--you can top it with a whole host of extras if you like.  Some of our favorite toppings:
  • red and green salsas
  • pickled peppers
  • black olives
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips
My friend Rebbie hosted a chili party which included an oven full of baked potatoes.  My kids created their own loaded baked potatoes from Rebbie's topping selections and missed out on her award-winning chili, but we all went home full and happy.
Mary's Sweet Potato and Black Bean chili, that inspired this chili, is vegetarian.  Since my family is an omnivorous one, and we've got a freezer full of ground beef, I chose to make a meaty chili. You could easily leave the meat out, and add a second can of beans and a cup of vegetable stock instead.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef | Farm Fresh Feasts
First version, with baked sweet potato
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef | Farm Fresh Feasts
Final version, with bell peppers and Hatch chiles
























Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef

1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped (or smashed roasted garlic, here's how I put up mine)
4 teaspoons Arizona dreaming (or 3 teaspoons chili powder + a teaspoon of ground cumin)
¾ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
1 can (15 ounces) beans, rinsed and drained (I use a tri-bean blend of black, kidney, and pinto)
2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (or leftover roasted sweet potato cubes, or scooped out flesh of baked sweet potatoes, this one is really flexible)
1 cup corn kernels (mine were partially thawed, but fresh or frozen is fine)
½ cup chopped roasted bell peppers
½ cup chopped roasted Hatch chiles (you can substitute a 4.5 ounce can of roasted green chiles)
1 quart crushed tomatoes (Mary recommends Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes)

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and drain. Transfer to a 3-4 quart slow cooker and sauté the onions in the mildly greased skillet until softened, about 5-8 minutes.  If you're using raw garlic, add it for the last few minutes. If you're using roasted garlic, just add it to the slow cooker. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker as well. Top with spices, beans, sweet potato, corn, bell peppers and Hatch chile peppers.  Pour tomatoes over top.  Cover, PLUG IN AND TURN ON THE SLOW COOKER.  Cook on Low 8 hours or High 4 hours until sweet potatoes are softened (if they were raw to begin with).  Serve with the toppings that you and yours love.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili with Hatch Chiles, Corn, and Beef | Farm Fresh Feasts
Do you see a Hidden Mickey?

14 comments:

  1. Love this - Hatch chilies are the best - I bet they add so much awesome flavor!

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    1. Alyssa,
      I've been using them to make my home canned salsa verde since they appeared at the grocery store the same time the farm share harvested tomatillos, but I'm so glad to branch out. Thanks!

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  2. I would definitely make this with Hatch chiles -- if I could get my hand on some. Not so easy to find here in the East, but I've heard I can order frozen chiles online. When I do, this recipe is going on my list.

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    Replies
    1. Lydia,
      I know that I'm ridiculously lucky to be able to walk (the dog) down the street to the grocery store and watch the chiles spin around in the roaster before picking up a quart of them. It's a huge treat for me. So I try to 'honor the chile' by using them in such tasty foods.
      Thanks!

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  3. This sounds spectacular. It's also 8 degrees here so wrapping my hands around a warm bowl of food is uplifting or perhaps the only thing keeping me going. I'm sick of winter, but I will put up with a bit longer if it means I get to eat this chili. I love the addition of corn in here. Very unexpected and I still have one CSA bag of sweet potatoes left (and a butternut squash) so I could make this. I don't have any Hatch chili's but I did pick up some dried Dragon Chili's from the farmers market last weekend. Perhaps I will try them here. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I totally see Mickey. :)

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    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Oooh, dried Dragon chiles--sounds very exotic and I'd love to hear how it turns out.
      I'm still kicking myself for leaving the cooler with the bag of frozen Hatch chiles on the counter when we went up to your neck of the woods. Next time.

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  4. Nice recipe. Carolyn loves to use sweet potatoes (good way to sneak in some extra nutrition) so we will give this a try. The boys and I thought it looked good, too....

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    Replies
    1. Stewart,
      If my kids would eat more sweet potatoes I'd be happy--though I'm happy that they eat this chili. Thanks!

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  5. I can see why you were smitten with this chili...it looks as though it's the perfect combination of comfort, health and rich flavors. And yes, black olives are a must!

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    1. Dara,
      It's funny, I was never a fan of olives until my spouse ordered them on a pizza when we first moved here. Now I like green and black olives--crazy.
      Thanks!

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  6. Whooo, what an awesome looking chili! Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

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    Replies
    1. Cindy,
      Much appreciated--I'm always glad to find a new link up.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. This recipe looks delicious, the addition of sweet potatoes in chili sounds yummy! I just started a new link-up, Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up and would love to invite you to share your recipe at my linky party. :) http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up.html

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    Replies
    1. April,
      Thanks for the invite--I like link ups and will see you there!

      Delete