If there is only one recipe that you will make from Robust Recipes during the month of October it should be this Slow Cooker Smoky Pork Chili!
Well okay, you should also make Coconut Pumpkin Spice Latte because pumpkin spice + coconut! Enough said.
Here’s the thing: I am not a very skilled slow cooker user. Growing up my mom never used one, so I never really learned the art of cooking with a slow cooker. The ironic thing is slow cookers are supposed to be one of the easiest ways to cook, right? You dump your ingredients into the thing, turn it on and leave. No stirring involved. I have a really hard time with the no stirring part. I mean how does it cook evenly if you don’t stir? That is the magic of a slow cooker; somehow everything gets cooked.
The only reason I even have a slow cooker is because I added one to my wedding registry mostly because the nice lady helping me with my registry suggested it. Then a really nice person bought it for us as a wedding gift. If that chain of events would not have taken place I would not own a slow cooker. Let me tell you, I am glad I have one.
I slowly began to experiment with my slow cooker by following soup recipes last winter. During the summer, it became my main way to cook up a whole chicken without having to heat up our already stifling hot kitchen. After about a year of trying out my slow cooker I finally feel comfortable creating my own recipe all by myself. This slow cooker stuff is tough. Don’t judge, okay?
Although I am learning to love the meals that are produced from my slow cooker, I have to admit there is that element of connection with your food that is lost when you use a slow cooker. At the risk of sounding all hippie dippie, one of the reasons I love cooking is because I get to spend time with each of my ingredients as they cook. I get to tend to my recipe, stir it, take care of it until it has reached that perfectly cooked consistency, all while enjoying amazing food aromas. With a slow cooker you just dump and walk away and a few hours later you finally begin to smell your food. As I have learned there are just days when you need your food to cook itself and to have it waiting for you smelling all delicious when you return home. THAT is the beauty of a slow cooker, and a trade that I am willing to make.
When I set out to create a slow cooker recipe I knew it had to be some sort of chili. It isn’t October without chili, right?
I had some pork shoulder roast waiting in the freezer. I knew it would be perfect. Everything else just fell into place. Chipotle peppers for a little heat and smokiness, smoked paprika, liquid smoke for more smokiness. Quinoa for texture. Red beans must not be forgotten in a chili. Some onions, green peppers, and celery for crunch. And of course some chili powder, duh!
So about that chili powder: I generously added 2 heaping tablespoons of chili powder to my chili. Right after I stirred everything together I realized, with a sinking feeling, that I accidently added 2 tablespoons chipotle powder, instead of chili powder. If you’ve never had chipotle powder, it has a nice smoky flavor with a very spicy bite. The entire day while the chili was cooking I was gritting my teeth in worry, hoping it would be edible!
What kind of food blogger mixes up chili powder with chipotle powder anyway? Answer: Me.
The moment of truth finally arrived. The chili turned out to be I-want-to-stick-my-face-in-the-bowl-and-lick-it kind of good. Yes, it was very spicy, but nothing unbearable.
Especially after topping the chili with cooling sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips, and avocado, this chili is incredible. I know you will love Slow Cooker Smoky Pork Chili. It’s:
Easy. Hello, slow cooker!
The perfect way to warm up on a blustery, cold October day.
After making Slow Cooker Smoky Pork Chili my slow cooker and I are best friends. Expect more easy slow cooker recipes in the foreseeable future!
I hope you give this recipe a try, and if you do don’t forget to leave a comment and rate the recipe. I love hearing what you come up with! Cheers!
- 2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder roast (I used bone-in, which helped to add a lot of flavor)
- ¾ cup rinsed quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 cans (each 14-15 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed
- 2 cans (each 14-15 oz.) fire roasted tomatoes (divided)
- 2 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons chipotle powder (reduce to 1 teaspoon if you don’t like spice; you can always add more later)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons liquid smoke (I used hickory BBQ flavor)
- 5 cups chicken stock (could also use beef or vegetable stock)
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- Salt to taste
- SUGGESTED TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL):
- Avocados, cubed
- Shredded cheese (Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Colby Jack would all be good)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- A dollop of sour cream
- Green onion, chopped
- Tortilla chips for dipping or crumbling on top
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT for the grapeseed oil, celery, green pepper, and 2nd can of fire roasted tomatoes into the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook covered on low for 9 to 10 ½ hours, or on high for 4 to 5 ½ hours.
- You will know everything is done when the pork is fall-off-the-bone tender. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and allow to cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Shred the pork using 2 forks, or pull apart using your fingers. Remove any fat and bone. Return the shredded pork back to the slow cooker and allow it to heat through.
- In a medium-sized skillet heat the grapeseed oil. Add the celery and green pepper to the heated oil and sauté for 5 minutes, just until the raw edge has been removed, but there is still some crunch. Add the celery and green pepper to the slow cooker. Also add the second can of tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add salt to taste. Allow everything to heat through for about 5 minutes.
- Ladle the chili into bowls and top with desired toppings. Suggested toppings are listed in the ingredients list above.
- Store leftover chili in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 week. I imagine that this chili would freeze really well for up to 3 months, although I have not tested this.
I would rate this chili to be very spicy. To reduce the spice only add 1 to 2 chipotle peppers and 1 teaspoon chipotle powder. Or omit them completely. You can always add more in at the end.