Monday, July 21, 2014

Pork Loin Chili...

Disclaimer:  This is quite possibly one of the best pork dishes I have ever made in my life.  EVER!

Chili topped with a bit of cotija cheese
I know it's summer and that chili is definitely not a summer dish, but I have been craving something a little more meat and potatoes in nature rather than the typical sandwiches and salads that I eat a lot of during the summer.  Seriously, I am definitely an omnivore leaning towards carnivore.  If I don't have a good helping of meat at least once every couple of days I get to craving it really badly.  That's what happened today.

A quick look in the freezer and I found a small pork loin and some chicken thighs.  Just as a back-story, when I get home from the grocery store with a full 2-3 pound pork loin I divide it down into 3 parts and then freeze it.  I do this because as a single person I can't eat that much pork loin all at once.  So, today I pulled out that small pork loin (it weighed 10 ounces) and let it defrost.  I looked online for some inspiration and found this recipe on Food Network.  I looked over the ingredients and knew I had just about everything and the reviews were really good, so I figured I'd give it a try.  I did modify my ingredients though to make up for what I had.  Here's what I did:

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces pork loin
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
3/4 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup prepared black coffee
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup corn
2 heaping tablespoons cornmeal (to thicken)

Pour 4 tablespoons of the oil into a large, heavy bottomed stockpot and place over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Season the pork with a dash of salt and pepper and brown it in batches, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Set aside the browned pork.

Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the pot. Season the veggies with the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and cilantro. Sweat the vegetable mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the pork back to the pot along with the tomatoes, honey, coffee, and sherry.  Stir well, bring up to a simmer and then lower the heat to the lowest setting.

Let simmer 2 to 3 hours, until the pork is juicy and buttery soft. Add corn during last 2 minutes of cooking.  Serve directly from the stovetop over rice (I used yellow rice) and top with favorite toppings such as cotija cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos, and/or shredded cheddar.

 Topped with cotija cheese and a side of yellow rice

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