Chili Colorado and Pinto Beans

I’ve written before about eating burritos at Bob Newlon’s house when I was in junior high school. Bob was my best friend in junior high and going into high school. Before we had our licenses, we drove his dad’s truck around the undeveloped streets near his house; when we took a turn too hard and the battery fell into the radiator fan. Uh oh. Later when we had motorcycles we drove around everywhere together.

At any rate, his mom made the best pork chili that she made burritos with. I’ve been trying to recreate that meal for the past five or so years. I haven’t been as successful as I’d like; then falling asleep a couple of weeks ago I had an inspiration to use my El Cid chili recipe as a basis. I switched beef to pork, adjusted the liquids, and reduced the spices. You can find my recipe here. The associated pinto bean recipe is here.

If you looked at the El Cid link above you’ll notice this is definitely similar. Here is a summary of the changes.

  • Substituted pork shoulder for sirloin
  • Substituted ground pork for ground beef
  • Substituted chicken stock for beef stock (use home made)
  • Substituted enchilada sauce and Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies for diced tomatoes.
The line up

I recommend Las Palmas enchilada sauce over Hatch brand; Las Palmas uses chilies where Hatch has more tomatoes.

Everything prepped; two spice packets in the small bowls.
Sauté the pork in rendered bacon fat.

When done with the pork shoulder, brown the onions with the chorizo and ground pork.

Chorizo, ground pork, and onions

This is why I recommend using a stainless steel skillet to sauté then put the batches into the Dutch oven as they finish. Look at that beautiful faund that we deglaze with the beer. If you only have a non-stick skillet, that’s fine. Or if you want to save on dishwashing, do it all in the Dutch oven.

Add the liquids and the first spice set to the meat and onion; simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Make a paste of corn meal and water and add to the mix with a more cumin and other spices. Simmer for another 30 minutes and watch it thicken up real nice.

While the chili is simmering start some beans. If you don’t have a pressure cooker start the beans before the chili. Of course you planned a day ahead and brined the beans last night; right?

Pinto bean ingredients – very simple.

Now, I’m still perfecting this recipe for the pressure cooker. The recipe I published is adjusted down to use only 4 cups of liquid instead of 5 that I used for this cook. I had to simmer the beans down for a while to get the consistency I wanted.

Beans after mashing about 1/2 a cup of them and simmering down.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Rating: ★★★★. 4 out of 5 stars

[NOTE: May 24, 2018: Since I worked on this recipe, I’ve hit upon my favorite pinto bean recipe of all time; you can read about it here and get the recipe here. And if you want to go for some awesome refried beans – which would go with this dish pefectly ;  check out this refried beans recipe.]

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