Chili recipes are like margarita recipes: you can never have too many variations. This particular combination is a little different than a standard chili, but I am totally smitten with it. Lean pork loin country-style ribs are the meat of choice, and the chili is bulked up by the addition of sweet potatoes and black eyed peas. I absolutely love black eyed peas, so I knew this would be a big hit -- kind of a southern-style chili almost. Fragrant spices like chili powder, cumin, and just a pinch of cinnamon give it a nice smoky background, and there's just enough heat to keep things interesting from chipotle chiles.
This chili is also super filling, and pretty healthy. I know that we're moving into spring and warm weather, but there's always one surprise and unwelcome cold snap before we get there for good. For that day: make this chili!
Smoky Pork, Sweet Potato, and Black Eyed Pea Chili
adapted from The Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution
serves 6 to 8
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (seeds optional)
- 3 (15-oz) cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained (divided)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless country-style ribs, trimmed of visible fat
- 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tbs minced fresh cilantro
To serve: diced red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, queso fresco cheese, avocado, etc
In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, tomato paste, oil, and chipotle. Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened. Scrape into the slow cooker.
In a food processor or blender, puree one can of the black eyed peas with 1 cup of the broth until smooth. Transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of broth and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Season the pork with salt and pepper and nestle it into the mixture.
Make a foil packet for the sweet potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes on one side of a large piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the other half of the foil over the vegetables and crimp the 3 open edges to seal.
Carefully place the packet on top of the stew.
Cover and cook until the pork is tender and can easily be shredded with a fork, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.
Transfer the foil packet to a plate and carefully open it, watching for steam. Use tongs to remove the ribs from the slow cooker and shred them using 2 forks. Stir the potatoes, shredded pork, cilantro, and the remaining 2 cans of black beans into the slow cooker. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with any toppings or garnishes you'd like!