Slow Cooker Power Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 smallish pork tenderloin
  • 6-8 sausages (any kind, though chorizo or hot italian add the most zest)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can beer (your favourite)
  • 1 large can brown beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 5-6 white mushrooms (optional)
  • yellow mustard
  • your favourite barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • chili powder
  • olive oil
  • honey

Directions:

Begin by cubing the pork tenderloin into chunks of roughly equal size. The smaller you make them, the faster they will cook. I like my pork cubes around a thumb’s length wide.

Dice the onion and crush the garlic. 

Heat a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil in it. Add the garlic and onions

Cook the pork cubes with the onion and garlic mixture on high, seasoning with salt and pepper until the outside gets a nice golden-brown crisp. You don’t need to worry about wholly cooking the pork at this stage, as it still needs time in the slow cooker.

Put the pork cubes, along with the onions and garlic mixture, into your slow cooker. Set it on high and add half the can of beer.

Return your frying pan to the stove and put it on medium heat. Using the remaining half can of beer, de-glaze the pan. Then, add the pan’s contents to the slow cooker.

  • For those of you not versed in culinary high lingo, to deglaze the pan, simply heat up the residue left by the pork and onions, and add the beer. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until all the tasty bits on the pan bottom are floating in the beer.

Cook the pork and onion mix on high until it you can shred it with a pair of forks. Depending on how large or small you cut the pork chunks, this can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.

Once the pork is tender, pull it apart in the slow cooker and mix it with the remaining liquid.

To finish your chili, open all your cans of beans, the corn, and cut the mushrooms. Toss it all in to the slow cooker, add a few healthy squeezes of barbecue sauce and mustard, as well as a drizzle of honey and set it on high again.

Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.

If you find the chili too thick, add some tomato sauce or paste, or even a small amount of water.

The remainder of the seasoning is largely up to you. Chili powder will give it kick, while bbq sauce and mustard will keep it more mellow. Add basil and oregano in small amounts, or your favourite pre-packaged spice mix. if you add additional mustard or chili powder, remember to drizzle in just a touch more honey. This will balance the acidity of the chili, and keep the flavour more rounded and full-bodied.

REMEMBER: when you add dry seasonings, make sure you stir the chili thoroughly and let it simmer for at least 5 minutes before you taste it again. This will prevent you from over-seasoning before the spices have a chance to absorb into the liquid.

And finally, enjoy! I like toast with my chili, though you can serve it over rice for a heartier meal.

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