By: Revanche

In the kitchen: Pork Chili

March 5, 2014

The last time I made a chili, it was turkey chili and an unmitigated disaster.  Five years later, I’m ready to get back on that horse and modified a Michael Symon pork recipe. Five bowls later? SUCCESS.



1 tablespoon chili pepper
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2.5 pounds pork, small cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound slab bacon, cut into ½-inch dice
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and very finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and finely diced
1 12 ounce bottle amber ale or porter
2 cups Chicken Stock
28-ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 can tomato paste

Shredded cheddar cheese,
Sliced scallions, white and green parts,
Diced red onions


In a large bowl, combine the red chili, paprika and cumin and toss with the pork; season with salt and pepper.

In a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the remaining pork. Transfer to the plate. Add the bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

In the crockpot, combine the pork, any accumulated juices, vegetables, ale, chicken stock, tomato paste, and tomatoes and set to low heat for 2.5 hours.

If the chili is more watery than you prefer, mix a tablespoon of flour with some of the chili juices in a separate bowl until it’s smooth, and add to the chili.


The original recipe was all stovetop but I needed the greater capacity of the crockpot. Our Dutch oven is too small!

And next time, I’ll try adding some ground pork, either substituting 1/3 of the regular pork cubes or just adding it to the pork cubes. I bet that would reduce the need for thickening.

Cost: Reasonable

10 servings for approximately $10.

I used the 2-lb chunk of pork shoulder I’d frozen from the last sale at $1.49/lb. Whenever we go to the Asian market, I try and pick up some bulk meat at a reasonable price for experiments like this. If they didn’t turn out, I didn’t waste too much money which would tick me off.

Other staples:

Canned tomatoes, Target price is $1/can or less. Bacon, the regular stuff is cheapest from Costco. I crave the amazing Zingermann’s applewood smoked bacon but it’s basically like drugs: we can’t afford a Zingerman’s lifestyle. But it’s soooo good.
Vegetables, from the produce market any combination of 5-lbs of produce tends to average $0.75/lb. It’s awesome.
Chicken stock, homemade. Delicious.
Spices, we have these on hand but good grief, they’re expensive on refill.

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