Saturday, January 22, 2011

Symon's Pork Chili with Potato Pancakes

I've made beef chili, turkey chili, chicken chili, and vegetarian chili.  I've never made chili with pork, until now.  Clearly I've been missing out because Michael Symon's pork chili is delicious.  This is definitely a man's chili, hearty and robust, full of flavor, and great served with Symon's potato pancakes for dunking.
Pork Chili
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook
Serves 12-14
4 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 pounds pork cheeks or pork shoulder, cleaned, trimmed, and cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin-olive oil
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (I used 6)
2 jalapeno chiles seeded and very finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
1 (12 ounce) bottle amber ale or porter
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
2 canned chipotles in adobo, seeded and minced
1 pound dried black-eyed peas (1and 2/3 cups), picked over and rinsed
1 small cinnamon stick
Shredded smoked cheddar cheese, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Sliced scallions, white and green parts, for garnish
Creme fraiche, for garnish
Note: I added about 1 cup of black beans because I had them on hand

In a large bowl, combine the coriander, paprika, and cumin and toss with the pork cheeks(or shoulder).  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  Add half of the pork and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.  Transfer the pork to a plate.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the remaining pork.  Transfer to the plate.  Add the bacon to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, about 7 minutes.  Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Return the pork cheeks (or shoulder) to the pot along with any accumulated juices.  Add the ale, chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotles, black-eyed peas, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the meat and beans are tender, about 2-1/2 hours.

Season the chili with salt and pepper.  Spoon off the fat from the surface and discard the cinnamon stick.  Serve the chili in bowls.  Pass the smoked cheddar, cilantro, scallions, and creme fraiche at the table.
 Dad's Potato Pancakes
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook
Serves 8
4 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 200F.

Peel the potatoes and keep them submerged in cold water.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper.  Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the onion and add it to the egg mixture.  Grate the potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel and wring as much water out of them as you can.  Add the potatoes to the egg mixture.  Toss so that the mixture is evenly combined.

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat and melt half of the butter in it.  Using half of the potato mixture, shape 4 pancakes, each about 4 inches of diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.  Saute the pancakes in the butter until each side is golden brown and the interior is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.  Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and keep them warm in the oven while you shape and cook 4 more pancakes using the remaining butter and potato mixture.
Notes/Results:  The chili is delicious, satisfying, and full of flavor.  I really love how the pork broke down as it cooked and became rather shredded in the chili.  My chili ended up rather thick, which we liked, but if you like your chili on the thinner side, you could always add more stock.  The potato pancakes made for a nice accompaniment to the chili. However, I made the mistake of making my potato pancakes on the thick side and therefore they weren't real crispy.  Next time, I will be sure to make them on the thin side so they stay nice and crispy.

I am submitting this to Ashlee at Veggie by Season for this round of Symon Sundays.


  1. This does indeed sound delicious! I've never made chili with pork either. Great post!

  2. I love everything about this dish. The chili looks delicious and the potato pancakes, well, I've always had a weakness for those!

  3. Holy smokes I want some of this right now!

    One of those cakes topped with the chili would make the perfect lunch, especially since I am being tortured by the smell of a smoking pork shoulder right now but it's hours away from being finished.

  4. This dish looks wonderful! Every ingredient is perfect! I love the potato pancakes to go with it. So tasty. Blessings, Catherine

  5. I'm making my chili this weekend and I couldn't be more excited, especially after reading this post! Looks fantastic!

  6. Wow! This is gorgeous. I love all the flavors and textures in this chili. I should check out Michael Symon's cookbook, because the boy can really cook!

  7. Oh man, you're making me hungry! We've done ground pork in our chili, but never shredded. I'm sure it's wonderful :)

  8. This does look delicious--hearty and satisfying. Love those pancakes too. Good comfort food. ;-)

  9. A crispy potato pancake is a fabulous addition to chili. It looks great!

  10. Now THIS is a chili I would like. Why did I never think to use pork??? I've been trying not to buy this cookbook, but you're making it very hard, Kim.

  11. How fun - I've been staring and staring at the recipe for weeks. The frigid, snowy winter calls for comfort and I keep thinking this dish will provide. I look at your photos and now know it would hit the spot.

  12. Michael Symon knows how to eat. Your dish spells man all the way through it Kim, which would please me greatly.

  13. I haven't tried pork chili before either - it sounds delicious.

  14. Wow--I've never even thought of using pork in chili, and although the ingredient list is kind of long for this--it'd be well worth it and perfect for an afternoon in the kitchen--hope all is well on your end! :-)

  15. we've been having dreadful wet and freezing cold weather. a dish like this is like a warm blanket when it gets like that, i love the hearty pork and the rich flavors. those potato cakes are like a cherry on top too! i can't wait to try this, especially when you describe how the pork shreds right into it, YUM!!

  16. O.M.G. Did someone say pork chili? Mouth is watering. I'm hungry!

  17. This is one kind of chili I haven't made yet either! I bet it would be a big hit with my Dad. Those potato pancakes on the side just make it all the more enticing!

  18. Never had pork chili either. I'm all over those potato pancakes. I love potatoes any kind of way. Great change from the usual chili and cornbread. (P.S. I'd prefer the potato pancakes any day)

  19. I've never made a chili with pork either! Sounds delicious! And those potato pancakes...Wow!

  20. The potatoes for dunking are perfect!!!

  21. I've never made chili with pork alone, but rather as 1/3 of the meat ingredients; however, what I have NEVER made is potato pancakes/latkes and need to try your version! They look so crisp and delish!

  22. Wow, looks great! I am really looking forward to those potato pancakes too - I wonder what shape my spuds are in...


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