This recipe was a finalist for the National Beef Cook-Off. The trick here is to microwave the potato before adding it to the stew to make the meal preparation go much faster. The addition of chipotle peppers gives the stew an enticing smoky flavor.
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Chipotle Beef, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Stew
Prep + Cook Time: 25 minutes, Makes 6 servings
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
3/4 – 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef, turkey, or meatless crumble
1 yellow onion, chopped
28 – 30 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 – 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with some of the sauce, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 – 2 lime, 2 Tbsp. juice plus 6 wedges
Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Microwave it on top of a paper towel on high for 4 – 6 minutes until it is tender. Let it cool slightly and cut it into 1/2–inch cubes.
Meanwhile, in a heavy stockpot, brown the beef and onions, breaking up the beef as it cooks, until it is cooked through, 8 – 10 minutes. (If using vegetarian ground “meat,” add it with the beans and tomatoes.) Add the beans, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook 5 more minutes until it is heated through, stirring once.
Sprinkle the stew with the cilantro and lime juice. Serve it immediately, garnished with lime wedges, if desired, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Slow Cooker and/or Instant Pot Directions: No need to pre-cook the sweet potato. Simply put all the ingredients (except the cilantro and lime) into the slow cooker and cook it on low for 6 – 7 hours, or high for 3 – 4 hours until the ground beef is fully cooked and the potatoes are softened. Top it with the cilantro and lime as directed above.
(Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel, microwave, and chop the sweet potato, chop the onion and the cilantro, mince the chipotle peppers, juice/slice the limes or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use extra adobo sauce from the chipotles.
Tip: As you’ll have some left over chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can keep them from going to waste by freezing them. Just pour them into a resealable bag and freeze them flat. (This will enable you to break off small pieces of the peppers as you need them.) Or you can puree them first and then divide them into individual portions before freezing.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 276, Total Fat: 5g, 7.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 2.5%; Cholesterol: 30mg, 10%; Sodium: 103mg, 4%; Total Carbohydrate: 35g, 11.5%; Dietary Fiber: 10g, 40%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 23g
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