Ready for a change from classic chili? This pork chili is full of tender pieces of pork shoulder, spicy chorizo and bacon along with rich spices and black beans. It’s a hearty chili that’s a family favorite!
There’s no comfort food quite like a good chili recipe and this pork chili spices things up in way the whole family will love. It’s a hearty, soul-satisfying chili with exciting flavors from the three types of pork, the spices and with a touch of bourbon to boot!
It simmers long and slow on the stove top and we’ve included some options to speed it up too.
Be sure to whip up some of our delicious cornbread to go with this chili recipe!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Pork butt or pork shoulder. Use either type of pork. Both are great for longer cooking recipes and will have great flavor and texture. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Bacon. Use a thick cut smoked bacon.
Chorizo. This spicy pork sausage adds a wonderful flavor to the chili. Use ground Mexican chorizo (not Spanish chorizo which is solid). You can use bulk or loose chorizo or remove the contents of chorizo links.
Black Beans. The recipe uses dried black beans which are a great affordable option. In the Variations there is information for swapping with canned black beans.
Onion. Yellow or white onion can be used.
Chipotle salsa or 2 chipotles en adobo sauce. This adds a smoky, spicy flavor. If chipotle salsa is not available use canned chipotle peppers from chipotle en adobo.
Ancho chili powder. This chili powder is from the ancho chile and has a specific flavor. You can also swap in regular chile powder.
Chicken stock or chicken broth. You can also use vegetable broth or stock if preferred.
Fire roasted tomatoes. We love the extra flavor in this type of canned diced tomato but you can substitute any canned diced tomatoes. Stick with plain or flavors that would go with the chili.
Bourbon. This adds some extra flavor. Most of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process just leaving a hint of flavor. If preferred, you can swap in more broth instead of the bourbon too.
How to make Pork Chili – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Brown meat and onions
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, cook the bacon till nearly crispy and the fat has been rendered (photo 1). Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan. Discard excess fat.
NOTE if the bacon does not render 2 tablespoons of fat add olive oil to make 2 tablespoons fat.
Add the pork to the heated bacon fat or oil (photo 2). Over medium heat brown all sides, then remove from the pan.
Add the chorizo and add the onions and cook for a 3-4 minutes until onions begin to soften and the chorizo begins to brown (photo 3).
STEP 2. Blend
Combine the fire roasted tomatoes and chipotle salsa or chipotles to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour into the pan with the onions (photo 4).
STEP 3. Make the chili
Add the pork and bacon back into the pan. Add the beans, garlic, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, chicken broth, tomato paste, bourbon, and honey (photo 4-5).
Turn on medium-low heat and simmer partially covered for 2 hours, stirring periodically including scraping the bottom of the pot. Add more broth as needed.
STEP 4. Serve
Serve each bowl of chili with desired toppings!
- Shredded or grated cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
- Crushed corn tortilla chips
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Diced avocados
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges for a squeeze of lime juice
Black bean options. The timing of the recipe is paced by the dried beans which will cook with the meat. To speed up the time you can presoak the beans use canned beans. One benefit of the longer cooking time is more flavor in the chili and beans.
Use different beans. If black beans aren’t your favorite use dried kidney beans or pinto beans (or canned; see note in Pro Tips).
Adjust the broth amount. As you cook the chili even partially covered there will be some evaporation of the broth which thickens the chili. You can add more broth to make it soupier. If toward the end of cooking you’d like it thicker, follow the tip in Pro Tips below (‘using canned beans’).
Want it spicier? Add some adobo sauce, more chipotle salsa or a dash of cayenne pepper. Taste toward the end of cooking before making a decision. As the chili thickens the flavors intensify.
Using canned beans. If you swap in canned beans (drained and rinsed) and find the chili is more brothy at the end, raise the heat to medium, leave the lid off and stir periodically to allow some to evaporate.
Use some sour cream or crema to tame the spiciness. Did you know dairy products are the one thing that will calm spiciness in foods? Adding a dollop of sour cream, plain Greek yogurt or Mexican crema will do the trick!
How to Store
Store chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The flavor will keep getting better too! Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
Freeze it! After the chili cools place in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat.
More recipes you’ll love!
Black Bean and Pork Chili
- 1/2 pound thick cut smoked bacon 6-8 slices, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 pound pork butt or pork shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil if needed
- 9 ounces Mexican chorizo use loose or bulk Mexican chorizo, not solid Spanish chorizo
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1/4 cup chipotle salsa or 2 chipotles en adobo sauce
- 1 15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups dry black beans cleaned and rinsed
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 cup bourbon Jack Daniels or other; or replace with more chicken stock
- any desired toppings
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, cook the bacon till nearly crispy and the fat has been rendered. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.NOTE if the bacon does not render 2 tablespoons of fat add olive oil to make 2 tablespoons fat for Step 2.
- Add the pork pieces to the heated bacon fat or oil. Over medium heat brown all sides, then remove from the pan.
- Add the chorizo and add the onions and cook for a 3-4 minutes until onions begin to soften and the chorizo begins to brown.
- Combine the fire roasted tomatoes and chipotle salsa or chipotles to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour into the pan with the onions.
- Add the pork and bacon back into the pan. Add the beans, garlic, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, chicken broth, tomato paste, bourbon, and honey.
- Turn on medium-low heat and simmer partially covered for 2 hours, stirring periodically including scraping the bottom of the pot. Add more broth as needed.
- Serve with desired toppings!