One of my favorite fall foods is chili. Maybe it’s the crisp cool weather. Or perhaps it’s the comfort of having a large pot available as we watch our football games. Regardless, I love that there are so many recipes out there to try! This time, I gave this Smoky Slow-Cooked Chili recipe a whirl. Ground pork and pork shoulder slow cook in a simmering mix of bell pepper, garlic, onions, tomatoes, beans, beer, ham hock, tomato sauce and spices for a delicious smoky flavor…
Most chili recipes I’ve made involved beef but this one is specifically pork. Ground pork and pork shoulder are used. It’s extremely flavorful – thanks to the blend of spices and ham hock – and despite the list of ingredients, it really is easy and quick to put together. Besides, it’s a slow cooker recipe and it’s hard not to love the little effort needed as it cooks on its own for hours!
- 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 and transfer pork to an electric slow cooker.
- Coat pan with cooking spray again. Add pork shoulder; cook 5 minutes to sear until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to slow cooker.
- Coat pan with cooking spray one more time. 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 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 and discard bay leaves and ham hock. Stir in sugar.
- Ladle about 1 1/3 cups chili into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with assorted toppings as desired.
- 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.