Chilly? Try the Pumpkin Chili

Branding Iron Roadhouse, 132 S. Main St., Lime Ridge, hosts a Chili Cookoff from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 16.

The rural bar-grill is in the picturesque Driftless Area and near Amish farms in Richland County whose community includes a mix of home-based businesses that don’t advertise.

Branding Iron is known for using local ingredients on its menu, and the setting is laid back. One example: Burgers are made with beef from the animals of local farms, award-winning Carr Valley cheese and buns from Esther’s bakery.

For the chili cookoff, expect Pumpkin Chili as the Branding Iron’s contribution. If you can’t make the drive, here’s the recipe.

EASY PUMPKIN CHILI
Dash of olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz cans) pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 (15 oz cans) black beans, drained
2 (15 oz can) Pinto beans, drained
2 ( 28 oz can) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 1/2 – 3 cups chicken broth

Over medium heat, brown the meat with the pepper, onion and garlic with the olive oil in a large pot. Add the spices (chili powder, cumin, onion powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Add the pumpkin, beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir well.

Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until ready to eat.