Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili (Paleo)

I grew up in a bean family, where chili is/was and will ever be a delicious concoction of beans, ground beef, more beans, and some extra beans. My mom really does make delicious chili, but then I went to culinary school in Texas and my world view on chili changed. In Texas it is sacrilege to put beans in your chili. My mind was blown! How can I eat chili with out beans? What will it become? Meat stew (basically yes!) – however this new approach gave me the ability to start playing around with different meat combos with peppers and spices. Much to my suprise I have found many variations of beanless chili that make my belly so very happy! Inspired by yesterday’s rain, and the ingredients in my pantry I came up with today’s paleo recipe. Be aware, if you make this….it’s spicy. Also, although I didn’t do this (because frankly I started cooking at 9:30 pm last night) I would prefer to roast the hatch chiles and red bell pepper for this recipe. When cooked down, the skins of these peppers become papery, not unpleasant by any means, but I suspect if I roasted the peppers, then added them the roastiness would add an additional level of awesome to the finished product. I am very pleased with the finished product, and I can honestly say, this chili is not only paleo friendly, but hearty, spicy and delicious. Even the most discriminating cave person would be pleased! (An aside: You could really use any meat that you’d like in this chili. Next time I’ll try ground buffalo for the pork!)

1 lb stew meat

1 lb pork sausage

2 strips bacon chopped

1 onion diced

2 carrots diced

2 stalks celery diced

4-5 cloves of garlic chopped

1 sweet potato diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 jalapeno diced

3 hatch (or anaheim) chile peppers diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 whole chipotle pepper + 1 T chopped + sauce

1 quart beef stock + 2 cups water

Cumin, chili powder, Salt and Pepper

1. Over med heat cook bacon pieces until crispy. Once cooked through add beef. Brown for 5-7 minutes. Add cumin and Chili powder to taste. (I used about 2 T chili powder and 2 tsp cumin) Add sausage, cook through.

2. To meat add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Pieces should be cut into a uniform size so they cook evenly and thoroughly. Cook down for 5 minutes.

3. Add peppers, sweet potato, canned tomatoes and 1 whole chipotle pepper + 1 Tablespoon chopped chipotle. Finish by adding beef stock + 2 cups water.

4. Bring whole pot to a soft boil, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

5. Season to taste, adding salt, pepper and additional chili powder to make it perfect.