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Smoky Meaty Chili

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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3 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil

2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed

1 onion, diced 

1 red pepper, diced 

3 tablespoons chile powder 

1 tablespoon cumin 

1 teaspoon chipotle flakes or powder 

1/2 teaspoon coriander 

Two 15-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes 

Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 

3 tablespoons bourbon 

3 tablespoons brewed espresso 

1 tablespoon agave 

1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar, optional 

1/3 cup sour cream, optional 


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the hot pan. Season the pork and beef with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Working in 2 batches, brown the meat on all sides; this will take about 7 minutes per batch. Remove the browned meat to a plate and continue with the next batch.
  2. When all the meat is browned and removed, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the garlic, onion and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with the chile powder, cumin, chipotle, coriander and 1 teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook the vegetables until the spices are fragrant and the vegetables are soft, an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and kidney beans along with 3 cups of water. Add the seared meat and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender and the chili has thickened slightly, about 1 hour. Stir in the bourbon, espresso and agave and turn off the heat.
  3. Serve garnished with shredded Cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream if desired.