Even though I’m using the mild Rotel in this pork chili recipe, this is not a mild dish. John and my friend Shelley both like hot, spicy food and both agreed this was just right. I’m not so into hot, so always add a good dose of sour cream at the table. That’s also why I like to have big chunks of onion. The rule for aromatics (onions, garlic, etc.) is that the smaller you chop them, the more flavor they have. In this case, with the onion chunks, I’ve used two, and there’s enough flavor despite the rule. These big chunks become a large, sweet oasis for my taste buds to land, contrasting with the heat of the jalapenos. So when you prepare your onions for this chili, I would use medium-sized yellow onions, trim and skin them, then cut them in half, half again, and once more half. Now you have eight big chunks of onion. It adds complexity to the flavor and makes prepping the dish easier too. (Just refer back to the photo to see the chunks.) While we’re talking about onions, when possible, it’s best to pick the onions whose skin is intact and shiny. (Like the uncut onion in the photo.) It’s a sign their quite fresh—haven’t been rolled around in bins for months, less likely to have gone moldy inside. And, yes, I know it’s sometime hard to find those really fresh onions. I’ve tossed a few moldy ones myself.
As for the meat, I wrote this pork chili recipe for the wild pig recipe section of my new soup, stew and chili cookbook, but I’ve also made it for other meat in our freezer. It’s just too simple a recipe not to use often.
It would be a great turkey breast and/or thigh recipe (lots of meat on turkey thighs, and then you can save the breast for a delicately herbed sautéed breast recipe), venison burger recipe or even a mixed bag of smaller upland birds. It may sound like sacrilege to some, but there’s no reason you can’t do a pheasant chili recipe, or even forest grouse chili recipe. If chili is one of your go-to recipes, there’s no reason it can’t be a game bird recipe.
Before I go, if you’d like that delicately herbed sautéed turkey breast recipe, it’s in Upland Gamebird Cookery, page 109: https://www.riflesandrecipes.com/product/upland-game-bird-recipes/
Two-Can Pork Chili with Big Chunk Onions
Makes 6 servings
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1½ pounds pig meat, cut in bite sized pieces
- 2 medium-sized onions, in chunks
- 2 cans Rotel (10 ounces each, mild)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Sour Cream or grated Monterey Jack
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches, using more oil as necessary. (Browning 2 sides is enough for the added flavor.) Transfer the meat to a bowl as you brown it.
- Add a bit more oil to the skillet, add the onion and sauté until the edges are lightly browned. Add the Rotel, cumin and paprika to the soup pot and give it all a good stir so every bit of meat and onion is coated with the seasonings.
- When you can smell all those wonderful flavors, add the chicken broth to the pot, turn the heat up and bring the chili up to a simmer. Lower the heat so that the chili stays at a slow simmer, for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Serve with sour cream (my favorite) or grated cheese (John’s favorite).