Sunday evening was a cold, wet, chilly time that called for one thing and one thing only: chili.
The best thing about our smoker (aside from its delicious smokiness) is that it stocks us with a week’s worth of meat. This could be because we never can seem to pick anything less than a eight pound cut (hey, when it’s on sale how can you pass up a deal? I bought a six pound corned beef for $3 after St. Patrick’s Day…but hey again! That’s a heckuva deal! And you know we will eat it.)
The pork butt we cooked over a week ago is still good and fat in our fridge, needing to be used. We have been adding it here and there to our meals (I might have overdosed on pork while Jamey was gone last week), but I suggested a white bean chili as our next leftover pork venture in lieu of chicken.
Based on a recipe by the Pioneer Woman, I bring you Jamey and Claire ‘s Other White Chili.
- 1 pound of chopped smoked pork
- 1 sliced Vidalia onion
- 1 can of green chilies, chopped
- 2 cans of white northern beans
- 1 whole fresh jalapeno, chopped
- 2 packets of chili spice mix
- 1 1/2 cups of skim milk
- 1 lime, squeezed
- 1/2 cup of Mexican blend cheese
- a dollop or two of sour cream for the finish
- fresh cilantro for garnish
Off the bat, toss in a little bit of the pork fat with the onions to simmer until onions are softened and lightly browned for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the pork, the jalapeno, squeeze on the lime, and mix in the two spice packets (you could follow the Pioneer Woman’s spices if you want to make things a little more complicated for yourself, but the spice packets pretty much cover all that you’ll need to taste.)
After the pork has marinated in the dry spice for a couple minutes, open the cans of beans and pour them in. Mix and let the pot simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
At this point, we felt the chili was looking a little dry. To prevent the meat from drying out, I began adding in skim milk. (The Pioneer Woman recipe calls for cornmeal and whole milk to combat this, but since we only had skim milk in our fridge, skim milk it was.) And honestly, I think cornmeal would have thickened the chili too much – a direction we did not want to take.
Eyeball the thickness of the chili at this point. If it needs more milk, add more milk; if you think an extra can of beans is better, do that. Really, the smell of the whole dish is probably going to be overtaking you at this point, and I think you’re going to do whatever it takes to finish the cooking and get to the cooking. At least…that is how I reacted after a spoonful taste test.
Let the chili simmer for about 5 more minutes on low heat. (Also good if you need to delay the meal while awaiting the finishing touches on your garden sours.) Then grab the bowls, a couple spoons, and serve. A dollop of sour cream here, a tablespoon or so of cheese, a couple sprigs of cilantro all on top – and dig in.
In hindsight, the smoked pork really added a whole new level of flavor to this dish. Still, I’d say this Other White Chili has earned the honors of a Top 5 Dish in the Jamey & Claire household.