Metal Recipes: Beelzebub’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bowel Bomb


We are the wrath of gods and the desolation of the squash. It is on this day that snow drifts and howls, my workplace cowers in terror, and I concoct a firm foundation of unyielding despair delicious, cheap, and- if you care- healthy and vegetarian bit of comfort food for y’all. To perceive is to suffer, but to perceive while hangry is just stupid. Crack a beer, or as many beers as you like, and follow along for something that will allow you to be, if not proud, at least capable of saying “I did a thing.”

Beelzebub’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bowel Bomb

  • Serves: 4
  • Time: ~1 hour
  • “Special” equipment: 12″ cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or other oven-safe pan
  • Goes well with/as: by itself, an accompaniment to football, nachos/tacos/burritos/taquitos, something to eat an entire pan of by yourself when decidedly not sober



  • 2-2.5 c butternut squash, in bite-size cubes
  • 2 c black beans, cooked (i.e. one 14-oz can)
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 small cloves garlic
  • 1 dried chile of choice, e.g. Guajillo, stemmed, seeded, and torn into several pieces
  • 3 medium tomatoes (I used Kumatos, but Romas will do in a pinch), coarsely chopped or in eighths
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 metal album from a Southwest band
  • 1.5 t cumin
  • 1/2 t coriander
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t oregano or sage
  • Olive oil
  • Splash of red wine
  • Generous swig of red wine, for yourself
  • 1 c chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 c shredded cheese of choice
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Juice of 2 limes, for serving
  • Pure evil and hate



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Have your skillet in there to heat up along with it.

2. Prep your mise-en-place. In individual bowls: dried chile; onion; garlic; 2 of the chopped tomatoes; black beans; all of the spices except 1/2 t salt, black pepper, and 1/2 t paprika.


3. Toss the squash in a little olive oil, the maple syrup, and the spices mentioned last in (2). Add to the skillet, then move to oven and roast 25 minutes, tossing once at the 15-minute mark. Remove, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Note: that burnt-looking shit is the sugar. It’s delicious.


4. Move the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat (keep the oven on). Wipe it out, then add 3 T olive oil. When shimmering, add the dried chile and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

5. Add the onion, toss to coat, then cook 5-6 minutes, until thoroughly softened and starting to brown.

6. Add the garlic, 2 tomatoes, and remaining spices. Cook 2 minutes, stirring vigorously and mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. You should get a good amount of liquid; if not, your tomatoes are false.

7. Add black beans and wine. Stir thoroughly, bring liquid to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, layer the squash over the top, and cook 5 minutes, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

8. Cover with cheese in an even layer. Transfer to oven until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 6 minutes.

9. Remove skillet from oven and set aside, covered, for 15-20 minutes.



10. Portion out. Top each portion with chopped Persian cucumber, red onion, and the last chopped tomato (see below). Garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Serve with tortillas.




  • If someone’s a hardcore teetotaler, swap out the red wine for a splash of apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire.
  • Don’t be put off by all the spices. You should have them in your cabinet anyway. If you don’t, you can spend $15 and get a six-month supply easy. Pro tip: the online vendors like Penzey’s and Savory Spice Shop are not only better, but actually cheaper than the supermarket. Plus, they give you free stuff. Disclaimer: for the record, that’s just me, not a paid endorsement.
  • Save yourself some effort. You can get pre-peeled garlic at the supermarket for dirt cheap. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, they sell pre-cubed butternut squash. And if you’re really lazy or in a hurry, just blitz the onion real quick in a food processor or mini-blender. It won’t get you slices, but it’ll work just as well.

Questions? Comments? Shrieks of disgust? Ideas for other recipes? Please share in the comments.

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