MasterChef Pork Butt Chili

This recipe is meant to be made in a pressure cooker, which reduces the cooking time to 1 hour (or so).  True chili purists will want to make this in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and home chefs without either one can feel free to make it in the biggest pot you have.  Follow the instructions below, except when I tell you to process at 15psi for 45 minutes, you should instead let the chili simmer at medium low heat, covered, for 2-4 hours.

I must also address the issue of beans in chili.  In Texas, which considers itself the birthplace of, and makers of the only legitimate style of chili, beans are not legally permitted.  (Seriously, it is against the law to put beans in chili…at least if you’re entering a chili cookoff!)  I’m still waiting to hear if Texas is going to evict me after putting beans in my MasterChef chili!  But, to be utterly honest, I love beans in my chili.  Beans are one of my favorite foods, and I appreciate the texture contrast they provide in chili.  So…evict me all you want, Texas.  I put beans in my chili.  (Feel free to leave them out if this offends you!)

Preheat your pressure cooker over high heat.

1 pound pork butt (or substitute any cheap cut beef roast)

Slice into 1/2″ cubes.  In a separate bowl, combine:

1/2 cup unbleached flour (or masa harina)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
(I make my own, secret recipe!)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
20 turns black pepper

Stir together, then add the meat cubes to the bowl and toss them to coat.  Remove the meat, dusting off excess flour, and reserve any remaining seasoned flour.

Add a bit of canola oil to your pressure cooker, than add the meat.  Don’t stir too frequently…allow a dark, fragrant crust to form on the meat on all sides.

While the meat is cooking, in a separate skillet over medium high heat, saute in olive oil:

2 onions, diced
1 entire bulb of garlic, minced

When the garlic begins to take on a little color around the edges, remove from heat.

When the meat in the pressure cooker has almost reached the point of being burned, add:

1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin

Stir for 15 seconds, then add:

1 quart beef stock (I make my own with roasted bones)

Stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown crust.  Then add the sauteed onions and garlic, along with:

1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
(optional.  PS, liquid smoke is not an artificial ingredient, it is actually condensed wood smoke)
1/4 cup instant coffee granules (or 1/2 cup strong espresso or reduced coffee)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce (trust me)
4 anchovies, finely minced (optional, but important, so trust me…substitute 1 Tablespoon anchovy paste if you have it)
1 cup red wine
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup molasses

4 tortillas, torn into pieces (or a handful of tortilla chips)

Open a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and dump it onto a plate.  Separate the peppers themselves, gently scraping off any of the adobo.  (The pepper-infused adobo is what you’re looking for.)  Add the adobo sauce to the chili.  If you like very spicy chili add as many of the chipotles as you like.  If you like the flavor of chipotles (roasted, smoked jalapenos that were allowed to ripen to their natural red color) but don’t like the heat, slice open 1 or 2 peppers, scrape out and discard the seeds, then dice up the pepper and add it to the chili.

Optionally, add:

1-2 cups dry pinto beans

Bring to a boil.  Close the pressure cooker, bring to 15psi, lower your heat to medium low, and process for 45 minutes.  Release the pressure and return the chili to medium heat.  Add:

1 cup bourbon
1 can stout beer
(like Guinness, but preferably homemade!)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice and zest of 2 lemons
any remaining seasoned flour from the first step
, mixed first with 1/2 cup cool water and stirring into a paste

Stir until combined, simmer 5 minutes, then taste.  You may need to add more salt and/or more vinegar to get the balance right.

Now carefully remove every single bean from the chili by hand…HA!  That’s a MasterChef joke.  (Thanks, Alice d’Antoni Phillips!)

Serve over roasted green chili cornbread…the recipe is under Side Dishes.  Cheers!

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