Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pulled Pork and Pinto Bean Chili

Chili is so simple to make that I find myself cooking a different one fairly frequently so the "dinner decision" does not become a dilemma. This is a slow cooker version so the beans will need to be soaked overnight. To save time, ready the ingredients the night before to quickly pop in the cooker come morning.

You should be able to find the dried ancho chiles displayed around the fresh produce or the Mexican aisle or at a Mexican market. Use a mild feta cheese if you cannot find the Mexican queso fresco. Check out my other chili recipes, including chicken and lentil and turkey chipotle.

2 cups dried pinto beans
3 pounds/1.36 kilograms bone-in lean pork shoulder
4 whole dried ancho chiles
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 box (35 ounces/1000 grams) chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
2 cups cold water
Crumbled queso fresco, for serving
Red onion rings, for serving
Tortilla chips, for serving

Soak the beans overnight.

Trim the pork shoulder of all visible fat. Place in the slow cooker. Rinse the beans in a colander after soaking overnight and add drained beans to cooker. Add the chiles (they do not need to be pre-soaked for this recipe), onion, garlic, tomatoes, seasonings, agave and lime. Stir mixture around the pork. Cover with two cups of cold water.

Cook on low for 8 hours or until beans are tender and pork is falling off the bone. Discard the whole ancho chili peppers from the slow cooker. Discard the bone from the pork shoulder. Shred the pork with two forks and incorporate back into the chili.

Serve the chili over tortilla chips and garnish with red onion and crumbled queso fresco (or a mild feta).

Serves 8-10

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