I’ve been under the weather this week. Needless to say I haven’t had my usual gusto for cooking, baking, etc. Luckily, I made an outstanding chili over the weekend. I also had the forethought to freeze half of it for one of those nights that I simply couldn’t muster the energy to make dinner.
This chili always receives nods of approval. Friends have commented favorably on the fall apart chunks of pork shoulder, the smoky flavor coaxed from a small smoked ham hock and some just like that it’s not your everyday bowl of chili.
SMOKY PORK TOMATILLO CHILI
Adapted from MyRecipes/Cooking Light
This chili really holds its own. If you’re dairy-free, you won’t miss the cheese or sour cream. I highly recommend the green onion, cilantro and avocado topping for a bit of flare. You’d be surprised how the avocado lends its subtle flavor and creaminess to this dish.
PS – Did I mention already you can pretty much dump this in your slow cooker and have a hardy dinner in 5 hours?
PSS – I know the ingredient list looks long. If it’s any comfort, you probably already have half the ingredients (read: seasonings) in your pantry.
3 pound bone-in or boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 white onions, chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces gluten free beer (such as Red Bridge)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 tomatillos, quartered
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans (I omitted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 smoked ham hock
pinch of sugar
chopped green onions*
- Brown the pork shoulder pieces in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium to medium high heat, 5-10 minutes. The goal is to sear the meat and attain a nice brown color on the edges. You’re not trying to cook the meat through. Place in slow cooker.
- Using the same pan you browned your meat in, saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic until slightly colored and softened. Add to slow cooker.
- Pour beer into pan while still hot and scrape to release brown bits. Pour into slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients from tomato paste through pinch of sugar. Gently stir to incorporate. Turn slow cooker to high and cook for 5 1/2 hours.
- When done cooking taste and adjust seasoning. Remove and discard bay leaves and ham hock. Serve with toppings or freeze for later use.
* And/or the other usual suspects: cheese and sour cream