Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Black bean chili with crispy pork and poblano salsa | March 7, 2008

This was probably the most complicated recipe I’ve ever attempted–I started in the kitchen at 4 PM, and we didn’t sit down to eat till after 8 PM (and that didn’t count the overnight soaking of the beans). Some of the time was inactive, like when the beans were simmering, but there was still a lot of work involved.

The finished product was very tasty, though the soup never achieved a real chili-esque consistency (it was more like black bean soup). When I make this recipe again, I will cut the amount of water and maybe throw in a good stout as a substitute for some of it. The pork was good, but largely unnecessary, so next time I’ll make a meatless version and save some time and money. The best part was the homemade salsa (even though roasting peppers in a broiler is a giant pain in the arse)–it really gave the chili a refreshing kick, and it would be great by itself on chips or with some huevos rancheros or something. The recipe came from the March Bon Apetit magazine–enjoy!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds Total)
  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 7 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 14 cups (or more) water
  • 1 1/2 pounds dried black beans, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo


  • 6 fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 7-ounce can salsa verde
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted


  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds country-style boneless pork ribs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

For chili:
Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and ground cumin and stir 1 minute. Add 14 cups water, black beans, dried oregano, and grated orange peel. Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until black beans are tender, about 2 hours. Add chipotle chiles and season chili to taste with salt. Simmer until black beans are creamy, mashing coarsely with potato masher to desired consistency, adding more water by 1/2 cupfuls if too thick, and stirring frequently, about 30 minutes longer. Season chili to taste with more salt.

For salsa:
Char poblano chiles over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop chiles. Place chiles in medium bowl. Add onion and salsa verde. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


For crema:
Stir sour cream and minced chipotle chiles in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

For pork:
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle pork ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add pork ribs to skillet and cook until browned, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer pork ribs to medium bowl. Return all pork ribs and any juices to skillet. Add chicken broth, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until pork is tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer to another medium bowl.


Meanwhile, rewarm chili. Stir cilantro and cumin seeds into salsa.

Divide chili among bowls. Top with pork, salsa, chipotle crema, and shredded pepper jack cheese.



Posted in Recipes
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  1. I loooove the idea of using a stout. This looks fab, of course…yum.

    Comment by Lemmonex — March 7, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Thanks! I don’t drink stout (too much like a milkshake, and I prefer beer of the hoppy and bitter variety), but I think it would be great in chili.

    Comment by bettyjoan — March 10, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

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