Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pork and Apple Chili

This is a case of cooking for the blog.  I was going to make a simple pork and beans "something" to use the chops I had gotten on sale, but that isn't post-able.  So I "invented" a chili while I was at the market, then googled the idea and got new ingredients to add I hadn't thought of, but had on hand.  This happens a lot.  There are no new recipes in this world, just variations on something someone else made up.  I can't attach this to any one specific recipe.  Everyone makes chili their own way.

We'll get to the chili in a moment.  I just wanted to share the cornbread I made to go with it.  I used a round casserole with a rounded bottom.  The loaf came out looking like a flying saucer.  So cute!

OK, back to dinner.  I spent half a rainy day working on this, only to have it clear up just as the cornbread came out of the oven.  At least I got to pick a pepper off the bush, and find out they are indeed bell peppers.  From the shape, I was worried they might be hot.  I'm putting the pepper in this recipe as a jalapeño, but the bell worked fine in mine.

My friend gave me a seasoning mix from her Dove chocolate business.  The ingredients read like a mole base and I was out of chili powder, so I used that.  It worked well in this case and did not taste like chocolate.  If anyone feels inclined, add a teaspoon of cocoa powder for an unusual flavor note.

*3/4 lb pork stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
2 C low sodium chicken broth
1/2 C diced onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
*1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb chili powder
*2 small or 1 large apple, such as gala or golden delicious
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed, or 1/2 cup dry soaked and cooked
2 Tb brown sugar
*1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 6 oz can tomato paste
dash cloves
salt to taste
*shredded cheese and/or cilantro, to garnish

1.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, brown pork and onions, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and chili powder and bring mixture to a low boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook until pork starts to fall apart, at least 1 hour.

2.  Dice apples (peeling optional).  Add remaining ingredients except garnishes and return to a simmer.  Cook until apples begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Don't cook too long, or they'll lose integrity and melt into applesauce.

3.  Ladle into bowls and serve hot.

Difficulty rating  :)

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