Friday, March 4, 2011

Pork Chili Verde w/Black beans

I made a really interesting chili last weekend. I've been experimenting with chili made with pork and tomatillos. This is my third attempt and while they've all been pretty good, this one was worth writing down and posting.

I had country style pork ribs in the freezer. I was going to slice them into large bite-sized pieces and brown them in a skillet, but when I'd thawed them I realized they weren't boneless. So I browned the entire rib on both sides and then put them into my crock pot. Into the same skillet I put chopped onion and garlic, and sauteed it with chilpotle chili powder (careful, it's a bit hot), cumin and regular chili powder. Depending on how hot you want your chili use more or less chilpotle. If you don't want it hot at all you can recreate the smokey flavor of chilpotle by using a bit of liquid smoke.

While that was cooking I put about a dozen tomatillos into boiling water and cooked them until soft (about 5-8 minutes). Then I drained the water and cooled them a bit under running cold water. Then I pureed them in the blender. I added this to the onion/spices mixture and brought it to a momentary simmer. This deglazed the bottom of the skillet getting all the good flavor from the cooked meat and spices. I poured this over the meat in the crockpot. It didn't quite cover all the meat, so I stirred it occasionally. I let this cook on low most of the day, testing the meat for tenderness off and on after 4-6 hours. When the meat was mostly tender, but not falling apart I turn off the crock pot and removed the meat. I put the meat and the sauce in the crock pot into the fridge over night.

I put 2 cups of dry black beans in water to soak over night. 

The next day I removed the layer of fat from the top of the sauce and put it back on the heat. I added a cup or two of beef broth to the sauce and added the drained black beans and a can of chopped tomatoes. Toward the end I added a chopped green pepper. You don't want to add it in too soon or it will disintegrate into the sauce.

I separated the meat from the ribs and chopped it into bite sized pieces and added it to the chili when the beans were almost cooked and let it cook another 30 minutes or so. Then it was time to adjust the seasoning. I added one more can of chopped tomatoes because the other can had pretty much disappeared into the sauce, more chili powder, salt, and 3 tablespoons or so of peach jelly (just to sweeten it a touch). You could use sugar instead, or not all all.

Anyway, it was good that day, but I put most of it in the fridge for a few days. We had some last night and it was wonderful. I like to serve it with southern style cornbread made in a preheated iron skillet. I'll put the recipe I used some other time.

This could be really simplified by using boneless pork that is more tender than country ribs and canned black beans. With more tender meat you could omit the crock pot, but the long slow cooking seemed to give it a much richer taste.