Food & Wine Pairing: Butternut Squash Chocolate Chipotle Stew
The bounty of fall is upon us and that means it’s time for easy comfort foods..like stew! With the mellow sweetness of butternut squash, the deeply complex flavor of cocoa, and the gentle smokiness of chipotle, this stew is sure to become a staple on the dinner table.
This recipe easily transforms to fit a number of diet preferences including low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan, making it perfect for those family get-togethers where it’s hard to accommodate everyone in the room! Cook it in the slow cooker for a make-ahead option or in the pressure cooker when you only have 20 minutes until the family arrives!
Best of all, the stew pairs perfectly with our 2016 Bountiful. The crisp, refreshing fruit flavors of the wine are balanced with the heat from the chipotle powder while matching with the slight sweetness of the butternut squash. Bountiful's bright acidity holds up to the stew, especially in the meatless version. For a contrasting effect, try the Red Blend with the beef version. The tannins in the Red Blend will help refresh your palette from the richness of the beef and the deep red berry flavors will pair well with the chocolate.
Heat Level Note: The version of the recipe below results in a mild heat level (1/5 chilis – little to no tingle/sting of spiciness). Add fresh jalapenos, chipotle chilis, more chipotle powder, chili powder or crushed red chili flakes if you prefer a spicier dish!
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2, 14 oz. cans black beans
2, 14 oz. cans fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. pure cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp smoked paprika powder
1 cup water
Electric Pressure Cooker Instructions:
Layer ingredients in the pressure cooker in the following order: water, butternut squash, onion, bell peppers, and beans. In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, garlic, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle powder, and smoked paprika powder. Pour the mixture on top of the beans in pressure cooker. For the Instant Pot, use the Manual setting on high pressure for five minutes. Be sure to move the pressure valve to “sealed.” It will take 10-15 mins for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, then the 5 min cook time will start. Once the 5 minutes are over, quick release the pressure by turning the vent to “venting” (be sure to wear oven mitts or protect your hand in some other way as the steam that is released is very hot). Once the pressure is released, open the lid and test the butternut squash for tenderness. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and your favorite hot sauce or oyster crackers.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Layer ingredients in the pressure cooker in the following order: water, butternut squash, onion, bell peppers, and beans. In a separate bowl, mix the tomatoes, garlic, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle powder, and smoked paprika powder. Pour the mixture on top of beans in the slow cooker. Set to low and cook 4-6 hours until the butternut squash is tender.
To add beef to this recipe, quickly sear 1 lb. of cubed beef stew meat in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop, then make this the first layer in the slow cooker. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.
Follow the beef option and omit the beans. Cook in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and hot sauce. *Please consult your nutritionist or doctor for medical advice before following our recipe.*
Simply omit beans and follow the rest of the recipe as noted. There is a wide range of personal preference in what is considered paleo, so alter the recipe to fit your tastes!
Follow the original recipe noted, making sure that the canned ingredients are manufactured with no animal byproducts. Pair with the 2015 GIFFT Red Blend, a vegan wine! This tasty stew should satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike.