Smoky Pulled Pork Chili

I think the bugs are in cahoots with one another. I think they’re on a mission to scare the living bejeezus out of me. Remember the stink bug that tried to kill me? Well, the other day I had a spider try to do the very same thing. Maybe I’m giving off some pheromone that bugs like. I dunno!

Mr. Spider picked the worst time to scare me. He showed up unannounced in my truck as I was driving to get some lunch the other day. There I was rockin’ out to Awolnation when all of a sudden I see something move in my periphery. I look over and there’s a fury spider crawling on the lip of the door.

That was it, I couldn’t take my eye off of it. I feared it would crawl off of the door and attack me with its spider teeth. I’m sorry, fangs. Spiders have fangs (I looked it up), which, now that I think about it,  sounds more ominous than teeth. I scooted as far way from the thing as I could. By the time I was done scooting, I was smooshed up against the center console with my arms angled across my body so I could continue to drive. I kept one eye on the spider and one eye on the road so I wouldn’t hit the powder blue car in front of me.

What made it worse was the fact that the spider had acrobatic abilities. It could jump! I’m sure you know the breed I’m referring to. They’re the spiders that can bounce in the air like a Jack Russel terrior. Weird!

The smart thing would have been to pull over, but, being on a time constraint, I kept going until I arrived at my lunch destination. By this time, the spider was on my door handle. “Come on! How am I supposed to get out,” I yelled at the spider. Meanwhile, the lucky poor guy parked next to me was staring at me with a puzzled look on his face. “Okay, you win!” I exclaimed, defeated. I did the only thing left to do… I crawled over the center console and let myself out through the passenger side door.

I couldn’t let the spider win, so I walked over to the driver side, opened the door from the outside, and flicked the spider to the ground with the corner of my CD case. “Ha! You lose!”

Are you a chili lover?

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Me, I can take it or leave it. Squirrel, on the other hand, loves it. He starts putting in his request for chili as soon as the weather starts to cool down, and he continues up until the weather starts to warm up.

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I was eating a pulled pork sandwich the other day and said to Squirrel, “You know what would be really good?”

“Huh,” he responds, only half listening as he shovels food into his mouth.

“Pulled pork chili! I’m not a huge fan of chili, but I would eat the heck out of some chili with pulled pork mixed in.”

The mention of pulled pork got his attention. “That sounds really good. You should make that.”

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This chili is no joke! It’s loaded with tender pulled pork that I cooked to juicy perfection in the slow-cooker, smoky chipotle peppers, hearty chunks of onions, green bell peppers, jalapeños, and a melange of smoky spices.

I even added a touch of spicy BBQ sauce. You can’t have pulled pork without it, right? It sounds odd, but it adds a nice contrasting sweetness to the heat. It’s good!

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This is a really simple chili. The slow-cooker does all of the work cooking the pulled pork, so all you have to do is throw everything in a pot and let the mixture simmer for a bit to allow the flavors to come together.

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Enjoy!

Smoky Pulled Pork Chili

Yield: 8 servings

Total Time: 5 hours 50 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 (2.5 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup spicy barbecue sauce (your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoon chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Pulled Pork

  1. Season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Place the pork in the bowl of your slow-cooker. Add the chicken stock; cook on low for 4 hours.
  2. Cool the pork slightly before shredding. Use two forks to shred the tenderloin. Chop into bite-size pieces, about 1-inch.
  3. Sieve the pork drippings. Set aside.

Chili

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, add the red pepper flakes, green pepper, onion, and jalapeños. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce, chipotle in adobo, and pork drippings. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cayenne worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce.
  4. Cover the mixture and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the shredded pork. Place the lid on the pot, leaving it cracked a bit, and allow to simmer for another hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheddar cheese.
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