Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spicy Pork and Red Bean Chili

This chili has so much flavor that I can't believe I made it in my kitchen.  It's definitely worthy of a chili cookoff and it's classic "man food".  My husband loves it and so do I.  If we were having a Super Bowl party (which we won't be doing until the Eagles or Ravens make it back to the Bowl), I'd serve this chili.

I found this recipe on and I tried it because it includes two types of pork (bacon and pork shoulder) and we love pork.  It goes without saying that this isn't a low-fat meal and you shouldn't eat it everyday (hmm... I find myself using that excuse a lot).

Pork shoulder is inexpensive and quite fatty.  I picked up this 4 lb. shoulder for about $3.50 (on sale).  The fatty, tender meat really makes this recipe.  With that said, there was no way I was putting this much fat into the pot:

Even I know when to stop.  Do you see that thick, fatty pig skin?  It's just wrong.  I spent 30 minutes trimming away most of the large pieces of fat with scissors and a chef's knife.  Don't worry, the resulting chili was still moist and flavorful.  I couldn't get all the meat off the bone and my hands were slippery (and I didn't want to cut myself and end up in the ER... again), so I cut as much meat as I could, but ultimately just added the bone to the pot.  Once the chili was finished, I just pulled the bone right out.  It worked fine and I got to keep my fingers.

Here's my trimmed pork, seasoned with salt and pepper and ready to be browned in bacon fat:

First I browned bacon, then browned the pork in some of the bacon fat.  (I warned you...)

Keep some of that pork fat!  You'll need it to saute the onions, jalapenos, garlic and spices...

Then comes the addition of unusual ingredients:  water... beef stock... diced tomatoes... and coffee.  Coffee?!  (I was skeptical, too.)

At this point, you may as well take a nap or pop in a movie.  It needs to simmer for at least two hours.  After two hours I used a potato masher to break up the soft pork and crush the tomatoes.  Then, I stirred in the red beans.

I served it over white rice and topped with cheddar cheese, red onion, and cilantro.  My hubby topped his with bacon.  Why not?

I heard this is even better after it sits a few days, if it lasts that long.

Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili

1/2 pound sliced bacon
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 to 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped I used 2 and it was perfect for us
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
14 1/2-ounce can beef broth I used 1 T. beef bouillon dissoved in 14 oz. hot water
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup water
28- to 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes with purée (I used diced tomatoes)
2 (19-ounce) cans small red beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained I used small beans

Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, turning, until crisp. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain and pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Crumble bacon. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Add oil to pot and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown pork in about 6 batches without crowding and transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add onion and jalapeños and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne, then cook, stirring, 1 minute. Return pork to pot with any juices accumulated on plate and add broth, coffee, water, and tomatoes with purée.

Simmer chili, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in beans and bring to a simmer, stirring.

Serve chili with bacon and accompaniments. We used white rice, diced red onion, cilantro, and cheddar cheese.


  1. Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. Do you cook often because the finished product looks professional. My husband and I love spicy food, and I just have to say I think it's hilarious about having a super bowl party. We're eagles (and steelers) fans too.

  2. Hi Megara! I'm not a professional cook, but I'm an enthusiastic home cook. I'm one of those food nerds who loves to grocery shop, hang out in kitchen stores, and I make sure that my food is extra pretty for pictures.

  3. This is our favorite chili recipe which I have been making ever since I received the Gourmet magazine issue that included it. I must point out that Epicurious includes a list of the accompaniments for the recipe. And these should be added to the chili to take it over the top. They include: toasted, salted pumpkin seeds, red onion, cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, bacon, sour cream and warmed tortilla or corn chips.


Related Posts with Thumbnails