TEXAS RED PORK CHILI (bowl of red, for eight)


Here’s a Lone Star State recipe that has no ground meat, no beans and no tomatoes.


½ pound sliced bacon, chopped

4 pounds pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons peanut oil, if necessary

4 large white onions, chopped

2 tablespoons garlic (about 4 large cloves), minced

3 bottles beer (preferably Mexican)

4 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 cup brewed coffee

¼ cup white vinegar

2 to 4 tablespoons fresh green or red jalapeno chile peppers, minced


sour cream

chopped cilantro

shredded Jack cheese

diced red onion

lime halves

pepitas (toasted salted pumpkin seeds)

tortillas or tortilla chips

Mexican white rice and frijoles borrachos

  1. Cook the bacon in a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat left in the pot.
  1. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season it with salt and pepper. Turn heat up to medium-high and brown the pork in batches (you may need five or six – if you put too many pieces in the pan at the same time they will steam, not brown), 2 to 3 minutes per batch.  Remove the pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon as it is browned.
  1. Turn the heat down to medium and, if most of the bacon fat has been absorbed, add 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the pot. Add the onions, and cook until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  1. Add the beer, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, coffee, vinegar and jalapeno and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the pork is tender, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
  1. Serve each bowl garnished with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of cilantro, Jack cheese, diced onion, bacon and a lime half. Mexican rice, and warm tortillas or tortilla chips round out the meal.

NOTE:  Chili may be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely, then chilled, covered.  Reheat before serving.

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