33/50 Zippy Pork Chili

Ingredients

4 T olive oil, divided

1 3-lb boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and cut into ½” cubes

1 pinch of salt

2–3 twists of black pepper

1 medium onion, diced

2 medium jalapenos, mostly seeded and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 T chili powder

1 T cumin

1 c water

1 t Vegetarian Better than Bouillon

2 10-oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can black beans, undrained

Directions

1 In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add pork, a pinch of salt and 2–3 twists of fresh ground black pepper. Brown pork stirring occasionally (5–10 minutes); drain. With pork to the side of Dutch oven, add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the bottom of the pan, add onion; cook and stir until tender (about 5 minutes); add garlic; cook 1 minute; add chili powder and cumin; cook about 1 minute.

2 Add water, bouillon, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer covered until meat is tender, about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. (If chili becomes too watery, only partially cover with lid for last 15 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sliced scallions if available.

It’s a chili! So it’s designed to be changed, to make it your own, and with the original recipe reading “Chili powder, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste” I had to do just that anyway. I kept the main idea of “pork chili” in the recipe, and I must say out of all the “other meat chilis” I’ve tasted or made, this one made with pork loin roast has been the best, much better than any chicken or turkey chilis I’ve had. I departed from the original recipe in ingredients and in method quite a bit: I seasoned the pork while it was browning, used diced fresh jalapenos instead of cayenne powder and kidney and black beans instead of chili beans, and also added cumin along with the chili powder. Having made many chilis, I’ve learned that adding the chili powder and cumin right after the aromatics are ready and before the liquid instead of after the liquid gives a better flavor result. I have never used the diced tomatoes with green chilis in a can. I prefer using the regular diced tomatoes and adding fresh hot peppers. But trying to keep some of the elements of the original recipe, I did use them. I regret it; the chili did have a “from the can” taste about it, and I can only track that back to the cans of diced tomatoes with green chilis since I’ve used the other canned products before. If I were to rework this recipe a second time, I would use plain diced tomatoes and add a variety of fresh diced hot peppers to put the zippy in this Zippy Pork Chili. But I don’t regret making this chili; I’m happy to have found a non-ground beef edition of chili that is quite tasty!

If you’d like to see the original recipes my posts are based on or read Taste of Home’s article that inspired my 50 Soups in 25 Weeks blogging, go to: https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/soups-to-keep-you-warm-this-fall/.

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