With spring just around the corner, I've been trying to work in a few last-minute, end-of-winter comfort food dishes before we turn to a bit lighter fare. My hubby and sons adore chili, so I've been working on a white chili recipe to sub in for my traditional tomato-based, red bean chili ... just to give them something a little different and to mix things up.
The result of my recent testing and experimentation is this amazing White Pork Chili that comes together so easily and beautifully in the slow cooker. There isn't a ton of heat in this recipe, but the chili is still super flavorful due to the inclusion of cumin, chili powder, garlic, oregano and fire-roasted green chiles.
You could easily sub in chicken in place of the pork. (No need to sear the meat if using chicken.) Or, if you wanted to make this vegetarian, just omit the meat and swap in vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
I used a large variety of beans, but you could successfully just use two or three kinds. I would just be sure to try to include the can of White Chili Beans since they come in a mild chili sauce that is part of the flavor component in this recipe. Note that the beans are not added into the chili until the last hour of cooking to prevent them from becoming overly mushy.
Yields 6 - 8 servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds cubed pork
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles (fire-roasted preferred)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano preferred)
3 cups chicken stock
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
1 15-ounce can hominy, drained
1 15-ounce can navy beans, drained
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, drained
1 15-ounce can white chili beans (in mild chili sauce), NOT drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Garnish Options - shredded cheese, lime wedges, sliced jalapeños, chopped scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat on stove top. Sear pork cubes in hot oil until well-browned on all sides. Transfer pork to six-quart slow cooker insert. Stir in onion, celery, garlic, canned green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, oregano and chicken stock.
Lid and cook for four hours on high or six hours on low.
About one hour prior to serving, remove lid and stir in the beans and hominy. (Increase slow cooker temp to high at this point if it had been on low.) Stir chili once or twice during the final hour of cooking (after adding beans and hominy).
Right before serving, stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve with suggested garnishes, as desired.
NOTE: For a thicker chili, mash some of the beans with a potato masher to thicken liquid. Or, mix together a few tablespoons of masa with a little of the chili liquid during the final thirty minutes of cooking. Blend the mixture into the chili to thicken.