Pork Chili Adventure

November 8, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Cooking | Leave a comment
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As an avid home cook I like to play around in the kitchen. Often times I find myself playing an at home version of Iron Chef. Sometimes, this is somewhat planned. I will go to the store and select a fresh ingredient then come home and scour my pantry and food stuffs to create a dish from that ingredient. Other times, I am tossed into this game by my girlfriend bringing home an ingredient, or defrosting one the night before.

Luckily, I have the internet and a good collection of cook books on the shelf to help inspire me. I rarely follow any recipe – I tend to find 3 similar recipes for the same dish and then meld them into my own.

Last night, the game changed. I was making a simple pork sauce for some rigatoni. The whole thing took a turn about halfway through. I had intended to slow stew the ingredients over the course of the day in order to really infuse that pork flavor into the sauce. The rub came when I decided to slack off at the beginning and not sear my meat first. I just tossed it in the stock pot with some onions and got ahead of myself by adding the other ingredients. So, the meat (4 country style pork ribs) cooked slowly and thoroughly along with the homemade chicken stock, the canned tomatoes, the italian herbs and spices…the onions, the garlic…and it leached all of its fatty goodness into my sauce, turning my bright red tomatoes into a brownish mess.

The vibrant taste I was going to achieve in the finishing stage by adding a small can of diced tomatoes and some fresh herbs was just not going to happen. I knew that. Sure, I could have chilled the pot and skimmed off the fat. Screw that!

I flung open my spice cupboard and whipped out the New Mexican Chili Powder and some cumin. Tossed a good amount of both into the pot and reached for my handy boat motor (er…ummm…hand blender) and frapped the hell outta the whole deal after removing the pork. Awesome nice brown colored sauce now. A quick trip to my veggie crisper yielded a big fat jalapeno  and my pantry provided some canned whole green chiles. Luckily, my culinary torch was within reach – so those two ingredients got charred quickly with a blast of a couple thousand degrees. Mmm…fire roasting. Chop Chop. Into the pot. Cube some pork, shred some pork, dice up a few more onions. Voila.  Pork Chili. Damn good pork chili too, considering it was supposed to be pasta sauce.

Of course, i still wanted the rigatoni (although I would have opted for mostaccioli if I could ever find it or wasn’t too lazy to break out my pasta machine). So, I just poured the chili over the macaroni. Chili Mac – homemade diner style. Guy Fieri would ahve been proud.

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