Autumn has a lot to love. Although it means putting away your favorite summer toys before they acquire a thick layer of ice and snow, you’re also rewarded with gorgeous foliage, football games on crisp days, and home-cooked meals — and that makes October Pork Month very timely indeed.
So why is Pork Month in October? Traditionally, the 10th month marks the time of year hogs were marketed. Today it simply serves as a celebration of hog farmers and the bounty they bring to the table. Because piping hot chili is the “comeback kid” when the mercury dips, try this Low & Slow Boilermaker Chili — whether you’re tailgating with friends or just enjoying a night in, this will make the promise of winter weather a little easier to swallow.
Low & Slow Boilermaker Pork Chili
8 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 2-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
3 fresh jalapeños, seeded and diced (optional — this really jacks up the spice quotient!)
3 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
½ cup honey
½ cup prepared black coffee
½ cup bourbon or 1 can beer (lager or pale ale, optional)
½ cup jalapeño juice from jar (optional)
1 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
Crushed tortilla chips
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 generously with salt and pepper and brown it in batches, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Set the browned pork aside.
Pour the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil into the pot and add the diced onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeños. Add the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Stir over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the browned pork back into the pot along with the diced tomatoes, honey, coffee, and bourbon or beer. Add the beans and corn and stir well. Bring the entire mixture to a simmer, making sure to keep the burner on its lowest setting.
Let the chili simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until the pork is falling apart. Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños, and crushed tortilla chips — or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, a pan of homemade cornbread.
More recipes just for you
You can read more about October Pork Month here, and if you’d like more tasty recipe ideas for any season, visit our Front Porch blog on grinnellmutual.com.