Soup’s On Sundays / Smokey Pulled Pork BBQ Chili

There’s no such thing as a perfect chili. The best chili recipes consider their audience, the weather, freshness of ingredients available, time from preparation to serving and accompanying menu items, just to name a few. And from my experience, it’s almost impossible to make the same chili twice. So my personal goal is, and has always been, to make each chili recipes progressively better each time I cook it. And so far, its worked out.

I made this chili three weeks ago for my roommates as a kind of experiment. We had a chili cook-off coming up at work and I had a title to defend. Although you may not know it by looking at me, I do know a thing or two about good chili. Growing up with a mom who could cook didn’t hurt, but I was also an official judge in the Texas Chili Cook-off Competition (Austin, 2007) and my partner and I won Best Overall Chili at our company’s chili cook-off last year. This year I wanted to get a little creative while staying true to the hearty, savory flavors we’ve all come to expect from a good chili. And thus, the Pulled Pork BBQ Chili was born! It’s thick, FULL of flavor, tastes like it could be a sandwich, has a spice that sneaks up on the roof of your mouth towards the end of your bite and it’s award-winning: Best Overall Chili 2012.

Can’t wait? Me neither. Let’s get to it.

Ingredients
1 small can Tomato Paste
1 can White Beans
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 can Diced Tomatoes
4 slices of Bacon
1/2 small can sliced Pickled Jalapenos, minced
2 medium Yellow Onions, diced
4 large Garlic Cloves, minced
2 medium Green Peppers, diced
1 medium Red Pepper, diced
3 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
3 tbsp Chipotle Red Pepper
1 tsp Sriracha
8 oz Chicken Stock
1 lb. Pulled Pork, chopped
2 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy)
1/4 cup Zing Campfire Sauce (local Virginia ingredient, optional)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 hours+
Servings: 8-10

Kitchen Utensils
Crock Pot with Lid
Cutting Board
Knife
Sauce Pan
Can Opener
Large Spoon

 
Alright, I know there are a lot of ingredients up there, but I promise this is really easy. To get started, crack open all the canned items [beans, tomatoes, sauce, paste] and put them in the crock pot. Remember to drain the beans before you add them. Give it a stir and set your crock pot to 8 or 10 hours, letting things warm up while you tend to the vegetables.

Cook the slices of bacon in your sauce pan over Medium-High heat. I like my bacon a little crispier, so I let them hang out awhile longer. While that’s cooking, make sure you have your peppers, onion, jalapenos and garlic ready to sauté. When the bacon is done, transfer it to a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up the grease. You should be left with a sauce pan full of bacon grease… EXACTLY what you want. Add all the vegetables to the grease and stir. Next, add the cayenne pepper, chipotle red pepper and sriracha to the vegetables. This process will help soften the vegetables a bit, lock in the spices and great bacon flavor from the grease. Make sure you’re stirring frequently. While the vegetables are cooking, chop up the cooked bacon and add it to the crock pot. When the onions in the vegetable mixture start to become slightly translucent, transfer everything to the crock pot – grease and all. Stir together.

As far as the pulled pork goes, I bought mine from one of my favorite local restaurants. Just regular pulled pork, sans sauce. Before adding to the crock pot, I’d recommend chopping up the pork a bit finer so it’s easier to eat. After you’ve got it to your preferred size, add it to the crock pot followed by the chicken stock and mix well. Here’s where you will get a feel for the texture or thickness of the chili. If you want it to be a bit more watery (not my personal preference) add some more chicken stock. But remember, some of it will cook down as the crock pot does its thing.

Finally, add your favorite BBQ Sauce to the mixture and continue to stir. If you don’t have Campfire sauce near you, just add some extra BBQ, otherwise – this is the time to add it. Cover the crock pot with the lid and wait at least two hours before you taste it. Remember, you can always add more or less spice depending on your palate. Because most of the ingredients were pre-cooked, you’d be fine with leaving this chili in for only 6 hours, or up to 8 depending on how you like it. Give it a stir every now and again and as some add-ons, serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and fritos. Enjoy!

Award-winning Pulled Pork BBQ Chili served with a Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuit and garnished with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

 

 

 

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~ by wintersm on March 11, 2012.

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