If you’ve been a follower (and if not, I’d love if you would; signups for email, facebook, and twitter are to the right) ya gotta know by now that I am a Soup lover, and def a Chili lover (they are all on my main index for Soups Chowders & Chili.) I have all kinds of Chili on my site ranging from old school to family-friendly, green to red, and a few grown-up ones. This Spicy Black Bean Chili is in that last category.
Of course, you are feeding the fam, feel free to cut back on the spicy additions to this chili; I always give a range to use (and I used the highest amounts) and I’d suggest going with just a little of each of the chilis rather than eliminating any of them altogether. They all add a broad base of flavor. And their own heat! A little sour cream will help tame the spice, too.
About Spicy Black Bean Chili:
I think this is the first time my son, who puts hot sauce on almost anything didn’t grab the bottle. He took a taste and said, “You’re spicing is perfect” and then raved on and on. He’d say something like, “This is really amazing Mom” and I’d pause, a spoonful just about going into my mouth and feeling slightly resentful of the delay it took to say, completely unabashed, “I know, right!” I gotta admit, though, this is one of my fave chilis, ever. It’s really kind of addictive. How addictive? Well, it’s gone now, and I’m really feeling kind of sad about it! And after all that huge braggy build-up, I hope you love this as much as we do!!
This is the chili that you’re going to want for a game day or party or maybe to take along to a tailgate. Or to the office chili contest. And all that is fine, too, because like any chili, this chili is going to be even better the next day so it is ideal to make ahead. The flavors are going to round out and be less jagged and less in your face and the heat actually dissipates just a bit. It’s kinda magic though there is science behind that.
This is really a meat-eaters chili with two pounds of pork (you can use beef, see below) and bacon, along with beans, either black or pinto will work if you want and you can guess which one I prefer. The rest is basically onion, tomatoes, broth and beer if you want and spices. Feel free to add a bell pepper or two and saute it in with the onion. I could go either way with that. A red one would be nice with the black beans.
Making Spicy Black Bean Chili:
I was kind of surprised, actually, that I haven’t posted either a pork (other than my Denver Green Chili) or a black bean chili before. Now I guess I’ve killed two birds with one stone. I know a lot of people don’t care for using pork, and if that’s the case, this is just as good with a substitution of beef. Just about any kind of inexpensive roast will do; something with some marbling is best. Just watch the timing.
This is cooked like most chili. The bacon is cooked, removed, the pork sauteed and removed, then the onions, garlic, & jalapeno are cooked until softened. Add the spices, stir them around and let them cook until fragrant, but have your stock at the ready in case at any point they are in danger of burning. That will make the chili bitter. Then it’s just a matter of dumping in the rest of the ingredients except the beans. Simmer slowly and gently as it thickens.
It’s your call when it comes to how many beans you’d like. If you want it thick and chunky, use four cans or cooked from dried, a one-pound bag. If you like it more liquidy, go with three cans and about 2/3rds of a pound of dried.
I mentioned that chili like this is great made ahead. It’s a fantastic recipe to double or triple and freeze, too. Just click on the section of the recipe where it says 2x or 3x and it will figure the amounts for you (as best it can – watch out for the variable items). Because chili is thick and dense, be careful to follow food safety rules. Don’t put a big pot in the fridge where it may not cool fast enough. Divide into several (preferably shallow) containers.
Saving Money on Spicy Black Bean Chili:
Pork shoulder is truly a budget cut. You may have difficulty finding it in a two-pound amount, especially at a great price. I’ll buy several when they are at a low and divide a couple of them before freezing into variable amounts that are suitable for the recipes I often use. In my area, on sale, pork shoulder can drop as low as 69 cents a pound on a very rare fantastic sale, will drop to about 99 cents to $1.99 on a great sale and at a high can be $4.99 or more. Buy low. Stock up when it’s on sale.
Bacon is an item that takes up little room and keeps in the fridge for a good amount of time and freezes well. Pick it up at a low and stock up. Bacon is generally on sale prior to almost every holiday, especially Holidays were brunch is served like Easter and Mother’s Day. There’s no reason to ever pay full price.
Beans are always going to be less if you buy them dried and cook your own. Canned are usually three to four times the price of dried, Watch for dried to be on sale around any holiday where ham is featured and they will often be unadvertised. Canned beans are usually on sale sporadically throughout the year, though some of the best sales are in late summer to early fall when the warehouses are full and producers want to move their product.
As far as the canned chilis in adobo sauce, it may be on sale from time to time but is often on sale unadvertised around Cinco de Mayo and the Superbowl. You may find much lower prices at a Latin American market. Pull what you need out of the can for this recipe, then freeze the remainder. They generally don’t freeze so solid that you can’t pull another off as needed for future recipes, but if it does, a few minutes on the counter usually thaws them just enough to use.
Really watch the sales for the remaining pantry items and stock up at a low. Broth is always on sale before the big holidays, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas and Aldi and your buyer’s club usually have great prices on both. Keep stocked up so you don’t need to pay full price.Print
Spicy Black Bean Chili
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
- 1/3 pound sliced bacon, diced
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes, patted dry, seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 jalapeño chiles, roasted or not, seeded and chopped
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 to 4 chipotle chilis in adobo, minced
- 14 1/2-ounce can beef broth
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup water
- 1 large 28- to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand or blender
- 3 to 4 (15-ounce) cans black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained or about 2/3 a pound dried black or pinto beans, cooked (see note)
- desired ccompaniments: reserved bacon, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, diced avocado, lime wedges, cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips
Cook bacon in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring now and then until crisp. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and refrigerate until needed for garnish.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot; add a little oil if there aren’t 2 tablespoons. Brown pork in without crowding, working in batches if necessary. As each batch is done, transfer to a plate.
Add the additional 2 tablespoons oil, when heated add onion and jalapeños and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
As onions cook, in a small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. After garlic has become fragrant, push the mixture aside and add spices to the pot. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds to bloom spices. Immediately, working quickly so as not to burn spices, add the broth, coffee & water or beer, the minced chilis in adobo sauce, the tomatoes with their juices and stir. Add the reserved pork back in along with any accumulated juices.
Gently simmer chili, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pork is very tender but not falling apart, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir in beans and bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer about 20 minutes to heat the beans through and blend flavors, stirring as needed.
Serve chili with reserved bacon and other desired accompaniments.
- The amount of beans can vary depending on personal taste. Feel free to add more or less depending on how chunky you desire our chili to be. If cooking dried black beans, you may not need the full amount; any remainder may be frozen in enough of the bean cooking water to cover.
- Chili may be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely in a shallow container (or two if necessary) then covered. Add a little water if needed while reheating.
- The chili is a bit intense when first cooked; the second day it rounds out in flavor and some of the spiciness dissipates.
Keywords: Alcohol, Beans, Beef Stock, Beer, black beans, canned tomatoes, Chili, Chipotle, Coffee, Hot Peppers, Jalapeno, Mexican or Southwestern, Pork Shoulder Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes