I got this recipe from Food to Run For. It sounded easy and hearty for a cold winter day, and what better opportunity for comfort food than Blizzard 2013! Plus, it gave me a chance to break out my new, red Le Creuset, which Mark got me for Christmas. Ogle the beauty:
You only need a few simple ingredients — sweet potatoes, red onion, black beans, chorizo, broth and salsa — and then it simmers on your stovetop for an hour or more, filling the house with yummy smells. And it’s versatile, so if you don’t care about keeping it vegetarian, you can swap the meat and the broth to suit your taste.
Soy Chorizo Chili
- 2 cups of chopped sweet potato
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 Package of Soy Chorizo from Trader Joe’s, removed from the casing
- 1 1/2 cups chunky salsa, mild or medium
- 1 14-oz. can black beans
- 1 cup veggie broth
- Water, if needed to thin out the chili
- Salt & pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot, simmer all the ingredients except the water, broth and seasonings for at least one hour. After an hour, taste for salt and pepper and add broth. Turn up the heat with medium salsa instead of mild, or a splash of hot sauce; or keep it mild like we do. And, if you don’t care about it being vegetarian, you can add in spicy sausage or even use chicken broth instead of veggie.
One important note about using a Le Creuset: you must coat the bottom of the pot with a fat, whether butter, olive oil, or a combination of the two like I used here. I sauteed the chopped red onion for a few minutes while I prepped the sweet potato. I found that two cups of sweet potato amounted to just about what you’d yield from chopping one large sweet potato (peeled, of course).
If you buy the soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s, which I highly recommend, you have to remove the casing before using it. It ends up having a crumbly texture that’s perfect for chili.
A little bit messy, but so worth it!
Another important note about cooking with Cast Iron: you really, really can’t start cooking over high and then turn down the heat like you do with normal cookware to get the pan hot, as cast iron retains heat extraordinarily well and it’ll ruin your food if you do that. Start over LOW and then turn up a tiny bit if you need it. These cook so evenly and efficiently, it takes getting used to.
I added in the broth bit by bit, so I could see how it was absorbing before adding too much. If you prefer it more liquid-y than I do, you can add all the broth and even some water too.
I also covered mine for a bit to help the liquid absorb. You can leave it uncovered for sure.
It’s done whenever the sweet potato chunks are nice and tender but not falling apart!
Serve it plain or topped with sour cream or Greek yogurt. Delicious.
I like this recipe even better than the Real Simple Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili I made last Valentine’s Day (what was I thinking, making chili for Valentine’s Day??) You can tell I’m not a newlywed I guess. We also went to the Bruins game and drank 6 beers and two plates of nachos between us instead of hitting a nice dinner, so you can see where our priorities lie.
I realized after making this that the soy chorizo might be the perfect taco filling that I’ve been searching for since becoming vegetarian. You wouldn’t even need to season it; it has that taco seasoning flavor going for it already, with just a touch of heat.
The heat in this mellows a bit if you reheat the next day, making it the perfect candidate for leftovers. I served it topped with sour cream for Mark, and plain Greek yogurt for me. That was a delicious substitution which I highly recommend!
Enjoy this flavorful, filling dish to take the bite out of winter.