Welcome to Crock Pot Wednesday. I hope you will join me this week by linking up a favorite slow cooker recipe with Mister Linky below.
With the arrival of crisp autumn days and nights, many of us are preparing chili and soup these days. This chili recipe comes from Cooking Light, one of my favorite cooking magazines. It was listed as a staff favorite for 2009, so I knew I would have to try it. You should as well; it is delicious with just a hint of smokiness. It is a nice change from my more traditional chili and Hubby has given it a “thumbs up” rating. That’s as good as it gets:)
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 1 3/4 cups chopped green bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup lager-style beer
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tomatillos, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained (These can be omitted if you prefer no-bean chili.)
- 1 (7 3/4-ounce) can Mexican hot-style tomato sauce (such as El Paso) (I couldn’t locate this, so I substituted regular tomato sauce and blended it with a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. )
- 1 smoked ham hock (about 8 ounces)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
- 8 lime wedges
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ground pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to slightly crumble. Drain well. Transfer pork to an electric slow cooker.
2. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add pork shoulder; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to slow cooker.
3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beer; cook 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, chili powder, and next 9 ingredients (through ham hock) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and ham hock; discard. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups chili into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon green onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve each serving with 1 lime wedge.
Note: You can also cook the chili in a slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours. For cooking chili on the stovetop, use a total of 12 ounces beer and simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the pork shoulder is tender.