Never fails… gotta make a new red chili every year.
It’s just my never ending quest for the best. Or for something new. Or to solve my boredom. (read: craziness.) My palette is rarely satisfied. Basically, I’m a huge pain.
This is practically a two-day chili recipe. It doesn’t need to be, but boy… will it taste freaking good if you drag it out that long. Also good to note: your house will smell ahhh.mayzing.
I realized last night when I walked in the door and the chili was cooking (my second batch, just a hint obsessed) that I knew exactly what it smelled like: home. My mom is super traditional about her chili, making it only on the coolest (chilliest?) of days, when the first snow falls, when it’s raining nonstop or when it’s one of the last winter days. The soup scent filled the whole house and when I inhaled last night, all I could take in was years of wintery memories. Love that.
I am not so traditional about my chili, making it whenever the heck I crave it. It’s the one “soup” that my husband will actually deem a full meal, not feeling the need to add any extra chicken or steak on the side. It’s super easy and is one of the few tomato based things that I flip out over.
Of course, I only flip out over it with a pile of toppings about ten miles high. Load it up baby. I want chips, yogurt, scallions, chives, tons of cilantro (judge me), grated cheese, avocado, diced red onion and anything in between. I prefer the trashiest of chilis. The chili that is so destroyed with toppings that you can’t even see the soup.
The chili that is insulted by it’s soup ornaments.
The chili that has my name all over it, if you will.
This recipe, like many other variations of my favorites, call for one specific thing, and that’s your mood. You have to be in the mood for chili like this. Don’t get me wrong – it tastes fabulous. But you could probably put pork on a shoe and I’d eat it. (ew no.) The only thing that is slightly lacking is that texture you get from browned ground beef or turkey. You know what I’m saying? You just must be prepared for your pulled pork chili. We sort of make up for that by adding the peppers after the pork is finished, as they never truly soften like they would when sautéed in a pot. But still. Be prepared.
If you’re someone who takes offense to beans in your chili, I suggest getting a slightly larger pork shoulder and tossing in some extra vegetables for more oomph. Like peppers, green stuff, whatever you’d like.
That… would not be me. I’d just add more chips.
Yield: serves 4 to 6 generously
Total Time: 12 to 16 hours
1 (2.5 pound) pork shoulder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
8 ounces of beer
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chitpole chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
sour cream or greek yogurt
sliced green onions or chives
Season the pork shoulder with the sugar, salt, pepper and onion powder. Place the pork in the crockpot and add the beer. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (I like to do this overnight), then shred the pork with forks or kitchen tongs, removing any bone (and large chunks of fat, if desired.)
Add the garlic, shallot, peppers, tomatoes puree, crushed tomatoes, beans, tomato paste and remaining spices. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for at least 4 hours, but up to another 8. If you're home, taste the chili halfway through and add more seasoning, salt and pepper if desired. This is normal - everyone likes their chili a little differently! Before serving, taste again.
Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt, cheese, green onions, cilantro and tortilla chips. This freezes beautifully!
I like a little chili with my cheese. What can I say?