Chili is one of those things that I usually make with whatever I have left in the cupboard. This particular recipe though, comes from a day when I was put in charge of cooking dinner at my parent's house right after Christmas and was told to use leftovers from our always epic Christmas Night family parties. Both my parents are from Irish Catholic families so picture 14 Aunts and Uncles, their spouses, friends, and a gagillion cousins, and mix in alcohol, presents, and an no holds bard Yankee Swap and lets just say its always a good time!
Anyway, this particular time, the leftovers from the party included beer, chocolate chips, and coffee. I combined these with the usual chili fixings and used some pork chops they had in the freezer as the meat. I had learned from Alton Brown to use jarred salsa and build off of and crushed tortilla chips to thicken your chili and I have been using this trick for years, including in this recipe. The spiciness can be adjusted to your liking.
I don't have any science to prove this, but I think adding the spices and garlic to the chili for the second half of the cooking gave it a really nice spiciness which was not hot, but more of a gradual warm sensation in the back of the throat as we ate it.
There's a lot of ingredients, but trust me it tastes great and you probably have most of them in your cupboard already.
This is an all day length cooking recipe, meant for those days when you have a lot of things to do around the house but really just want to watch hours of tv episodes on DVD. In other words it'll take a long time, but they'll be plenty of time for you do other things while it cooks.
pork chops cut into approximately 1 x 1 inch cubes
large yellow onion finely chopped
garlic cloves finely diced
bottle porter style beer, nothing too hoppy, I used Great Lakes Porter.
28 oz. can good quality crushed tomatoes in their own juice, with the liquid
16 oz. jar good quality salsa, I like Green Mountain brand
15 oz. can black beans, with liquid
15 oz. can red kidney beans, with liquid
15 oz. can pink beans, with liquid
good quality beef stock
strong brewed coffee
green bell pepper
semisweet chocolate chips, though if you have bittersweet that will work too
ancho chili powder
cloves garlic finely diced
finely crushed tortilla chips, they will resemble rougher bread crumbs
In This Recipe
Turn crock-pot on and set at highest setting.
Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl and mix until the mixture is a uniform color.
Combine pork with spices in bowl and with your hands mix until the pork is coated. Set aside.
Heat large saute pan on medium high and add oil and butter. When butter is melted add onion and cook until the onions are translucent and slightly brown, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook and additional 2 minutes.
Add pork mixture to the pan and cook until the outside mixture looks, but doesn't smell, like its burnt, about 5 minutes. Your kitchen may get smoky during this step, my apologies in advance but it'll be worth it.
Add meat mixture to crock pot.
De-glaze the pan with the beer and add this liquid to the meat. Cook this in the crock pot for approximately 1 hour with cover on.
Add tomatoes, salsa, beans, stock, coffee, and soy sauce to the pork mixture and cook for another hour with cover on. It'll look like a lot of liquid but it'll cook down.
In the mean time, roast the bell pepper on your stove top until it is charred on all sides. Place the pepper in a plastic bag with a zip top and let it steam. Set aside.
When the hour has gone by, de-skin and de-seed the now roasted pepper, and finely chop it. Add this and the chocolate to the pork mixture in the crock pot.
Cover and let this mixture cook as long as you can, I usually do around 8 hours.
About an hour before you want to serve it, reduce the setting on the crock-pot to medium. Add the additional chili powder, garlic, butter and tortilla chips and stir to combine. Place top back on and let cook. Stir every 15-20 minutes to alleviate sticking on the bottom, though if it does stick, use a spoon to scrape. It shouldn't be burned since it was on the medium setting, which has been my case in the past.
Serve as is or garnish with sour cream, cheese and diced avocados.