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Pork and Bean Chili

Pork and Bean Chili

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Serves 10 to 12.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from one of my own recipes.

Winter seems to call for soups and stews. I enjoy chili in winter, and I enjoy experimenting with different recipes. This one differs a lot because of the addition of tomatoes. Almost any kind of beans can be used, but I like the 15­bean blends available in some stores.

Ingredients:

1 pound (450g) dry beans
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion (8 to 10 ounces / 226 to 184 grams), chopped
2 pounds (900g) tomatoes, skinned and seeded
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds (1.4kg) cubed pork, such as pork shoulder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 to 6 tablespoons of chili powder, any heat your prefer
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dry leaf oregano
4 cups (950ml) stock, beef or chicken, more if desired for a soupy texture
1 6-ounce (170g) can tomato paste
Freshly ground black pepper.
A pinch or two or salt
Sour cream for garnish

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with about a quart of water and add a tablespoon of salt. Stir to dissolve. Add the dry beans and cover. Allow the beans to soak for 6 to 8 hours (usually overnight). Drain and rinse.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.

To peel the tomatoes, pierce each with a fork and submerge in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds. When cool, remove and discard the skin. To seed, cut through the center and either squeeze out the seeds or remove them with a small knife. Discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.

Add the garlic to the sautéed onion and cook about 1 minute. Add the pork and cook, stirring often, until it changes color. It doesn’t need to be browned.

Combine the flour, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle the pork with the flour mixture, stirring to coat the meat. Then add the oregano and stir again.

Add about 3 cups (700ml) of stock and stir. Bring to a boil and add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, about 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes to make certain the soup isn’t sticking along the bottom of the pot.

Add the soaked beans and the remaining cup of stock. Season with black pepper. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 1½ to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally to check for sticking.

Adjust for salt. If a thinner liquid is desired, an additional cup of stock can be added during the cooking time. Plate with a scoop of sour cream, if desired.