Saturday, February 28, 2015

Two-Pork Chili with Stout

Instead of enjoying a brew along with your chili, here's a recipe that puts the beer in the chili as well, as an important flavor component... and yes, of course, you can still enjoy a glass or two as well. I already have scores of chili recipes, my blog recipe index currently notes five of the favorites, so why mess with one more version? Why not? Because... 

  • today, February 28, is National Chili Day,
  • Two-Pork Chili with Stout tastes so good,
  • the chili/chile blend can be adapted to adjust the heat level, 
  • it comes together so quickly, 
  • and did I mention tastes so good?! 

Disclosure: there are beans in this red-sauced pork chili recipe. Beans? I'm not about to enter the  battle discussion regarding beans vs no beans in an authentic chili (link and link), or even worry about whether pork chili requires red sauce or green sauce. I'll leave those culinary debates to others with strong opinions while I smile and enjoy spoonful after spoonful of saucy, meat-rich, spicy heat with beans. Mmmmm, I do love a good bowl of chili (with beer).

Two-Pork Chili with Stout

2 lbs pork loin, cubed
1 lb pork sausage
1 very large yellow onion, 
1 large red sweet pepper
2 poblano peppers (OR 1 can mild chiles)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Penzey's chile 9000 (chile blend)
1/2 teaspoon ground Chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Gephardts chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 cans diced low-salt tomatoes
1 can stout or winter ale
Chicken broth or beef broth (I used 50/50 blend)

3 large cans red pinto beans, rinsed & drained
Optional accompaniments: chopped green onions, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges and/or diced avocados

Cut pork loin into large chunks or thin slabs. Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven & brown meat on all sides. Do this in several batches, not crowding the pot. Remove & set aside.

Cook sausage until no longer pink. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Discard all but one tablespoon grease. Add vegetables; cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add spices: stir and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Return meats to the pan along with the beer and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and their juices plus both broths (sufficient quantity to cover the meat). Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until meat chunks are tender. Add additional broth as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Add beans to the pot; cook long enough to heat. Remove pan from heat and let cool. The flavors will blend and mellow with a rest - overnight chilling in the fridge is good but not required. 

Reheat gently; taste and adjust seasonings again as needed. The spicy heat tames a bit overnight so I usually add generous splashes of Chipotle Tabasco or Green Tabasco to the pot. Serve with a choice of accompaniments: chopped green onions, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges and/or diced avocados.

For thicker chili I often add a handful of crushed tortilla chips, torn corn tortillas or stir in a slurry of masa (corn flour) mixed with water.

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