Friday, November 14, 2008

Ranch Style Chili

I've been looking at this recipe in my Cook's Country magazine for at least a year now and I finally decided to make it. I'll admit I wasn't too into this chili. The flavors just seemed "weird" to me. However my dh and father loved the chili.

I did make a few changes to the original recipe. I used pork stew meat in place of the Boston Butt roast, mainly because I had it on hand and I am trying to use things up from my freezer. I also used dried pinto beans that I cooked before adding them to the chili. Again because I didn't have any canned pinto or kidney beans in the house.

3 1/2 lbs boneless Boston Butt roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
8 slices of bacon, chopped fine
1 large onion, minced
3 large jalapeno chilies (about 2 1/2 inches long), seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
2 16 ounce red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1. Toss pork cubes with salt and pepper; set aside. Fry bacon in large, heavy soup kettle or dutch oven over medium heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towels; pour all but 2 teaspoons into small bowl; set aside.

2. Increase heat to medium high, add half of meat to now empty pot and cook until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer browned meat to bowl. Brown remaining meat, adding another 2 teaspoons of bacon fat to pot if neccessary. Transfer second batch of meat to bowl.

3. Reduce heat to medium low and add 3 tablespoons bacon fat to now empty pot. Add onion, jalapenos, chili powder, cumin, and oregano; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are beginning to turn brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and brown sugar; cook until just fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and scrape pot bottom to loosen browned bits. Add reserved bacon, browned pork, and water; bring to a simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, at slow simmer until meat is tender and juices are dark and starting to thicken, about 2 hours.

4. Add beans, reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and serve with condiments.

Some good choices for condiments:
diced fresh tomatoes, lime wedges, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Montrey Jack or cheddar cheese.

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