I had a hankering for chili all week long. Mainly I’ve been dreaming about beans, as strange as that may sound. I’ve been obsessed with finding ways to implement beans in my diet so as not to get sick of them. (I’ve been eating may through bean and cheese burritos and bean and wild rice bowls for far too many weeks.)
But I also had a hankering for pulled pork. So I thought … why not just combine the two? Again it seemed like a genius idea until I perused the internet and found that many people have had the genius idea before me. Oh well.
This recipe is barbecue meets chili. I topped mine with cornbread and sour cream but don’t let your imagination stop you. The sky’s the limit as far as toppings are concerned. How ’bout some chopped red onion? You could also top it with diced avocado. Shredded cheese. Sliced scallions or chives. Fresh cilantro. Jalepeno pepper rings. Etc. Etc.
Before I get to the recipe, I would like to point out one thing. If you’re making chili, you should make it your own. Take my recipe as a general road map but use the spices you like if you feel so bold. Add extra meat or omit the bacon. And remember that when you’re making other dishes, too. If you love garlic, add extra garlic to that chicken dish. If you think cilantro would be amazing, chop some up. Let loose in the kitchen and be proud of your kitchen creations. I am!
My recipe is adapted from one I found at saveur.com. Note that this recipe will most likely take you two full days. I cooked the pulled pork and the beans on day one and then assembled the chili on day two.
- 3 lb boneless pork shoulder, oven or crock-pot roasted and shredded
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (12-oz) bottle pale ale-style beer
- 12 oz sliced bacon, finely chopped
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ c. tomato paste
- 3 T. chile powder
- 1 ½ T. Chipotle pepper
- 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 qt cups chicken stock
- 3 (28-oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
- 1 c. pinto beans, dry (cooked)
- ½ c. black beans, dry (cooked)
- ½ c. white beans (such as cannelini), dry (cooked and pureed)
- 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
- sour cream
- Cornbread, for serving (optional)
- For a crockpot pulled pork recipe, click here. (Obviously omit the barbecue sauce. You could also sub chile powder for the ground mustard.) For directions on how to cook beans, click here.
- Heat bacon in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until fat is rendered, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, onion, and bell pepper; cook until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, chile powders, chile flakes, and bay leaves; cook until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes.
- Add bottle of beer, stock, tomatoes, and cooked and pureed beans. Stir to incorporate and then boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered slightly, until chili is slightly thick, 1½ to 2 hours.
- Stir in shredded pork and Worcestershire sauce. Garnish as you desire.