Ah, the best laid plans! After being away from home for two weeks, resuming the routine can be a bit tricky. I chose simple recipes for our dinners, as we did not have much of a chance to catch our breath. We landed around noon on a Sunday, and went back to work early next day. One simple dinner would be a pork chili made in the slow-cooker. It is so convenient to arrive back from work to a dinner waiting for you. So, I set the ingredients at lunch time, and worked the whole afternoon with that feeling of accomplishment and anticipation on the back of my mind. But fate had other plans for us. It turns out that the electricity company stopped by to install a new meter in our backyard, and shut the power off for a little while. We saw them arriving just as we drove away, but did not think much about it. When I arrived home for dinner, the crock pot was off. The meat had stayed inside for 6 long hours, at room temperature. It all went to the trash, even if part of me wanted to cook the heck out of it in a pressure cooker. I decided safe is better than sorry. We ordered pizza instead. But, undeterred, I bought another piece of meat that same evening, and made this chili next day. It was totally worth it! I advise you to make it, and if you don’t have a slow-cooker, just use your oven low and slow.
NEW MEXICO PORK CHILE
(inspired by America’s Test Kitchen)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons New Mexico chili powder
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup strong brewed coffee
2 teaspoons instant tapioca
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 to 3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro leaves, minced
zest and juice of half a lime
Lightly spray inside of slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. In a small saucepan, heat the tomato paste, New Mexico chili, oil, and garlic powder until fragrant. Add chicken stock, coffee, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Warm it all together for a minute or so, transfer to slow-cooker. Sprinkle the tapioca, mix to combine.
Season the meat all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the slow cooker, the liquid does not need to cover the meat, just make sure to spoon some of it over the top. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. Half an hour before serving, use a fork to cut the very tender meat in chunks, and mix with the sauce. Leave it for 30 minutes, then add cilantro, lime zest and juice right before serving.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Most recipes for this type of chili recommend using pork shoulder or butt, cuts with a lot of fat in them. You can definitely use either, but the drawback is that cutting the meat into chunks is a bit of a pain. I never think it’s going to be a big deal once I grab the huge bag and place in my grocery cart, but then, the moment I open it and realize the task ahead, a sort of sadness invades me. Followed by the Keep Calm and Carry On stance. America’s Test Kitchen hit gold when they changed the game by using boneless, country-style pork ribs. They are equally marbled with fat, and all the work involved is ripping the plastic cover of the grocery tray. I was a bit skeptical because my experience with this type of meat was less than stellar. More often than not, I ended up with meat a bit dried up and with an odd texture. Not the case. These were melt-in-your-mouth tender, very moist and flavorful. Just the right amount of heat for our taste. The quick cooking tapioca thickens the sauce ever so slightly, but I used a lot less than called for in most recipes. You could omit it, if you don’t mind a bit of a watery sauce.
Phil enjoyed the chili over white rice and some Ranch style beans, I opted for cauli-rice and half an avocado, with the mandatory drizzle of lime juice. The package I bought had three pieces of country-style ribs, a little over 3 pounds total. Leftovers were enough for another full dinner for both of us.
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21 thoughts on “NEW MEXICO PORK CHILE, CROCKPOT VERSION”
How stressful to see your whole dinner sitting there at room temperature after 6 hours! I’m so glad you persevered, because I am saving this recipe. It looks so delicious!!
I usually have to take a few days off after a trip, sort of a “vacation from my vacation,” to recuperate. You are a trooper!
we did not have that luxury this time – but I know what you mean, it is very hard to jump back without at least one full day of rest. Considering we were also working at the university in Sao Paulo, the week after our return was pretty difficult. But we got over it! 😉
That does look good, and I am sure tastes great, like ALL your recipes.
One question though..What in the world is a boneless rib?? It appears to be a contradiction in terms.
Do you think that a pressure cooker would work just as well? We don’t own a slow cooker, unless you count the sousvide setup.
a contradiction in terms indeed – in the US this is quite a common cut of pork to find. They are called exactly that: country style ribs. And it is the exact meat from regular ribs, the more “meaty” region, cut OFF the bone
take a look in here
Thanks. When I talked to my butcher (before reading your reply) he looked at me like I had two heads. After discussing it a while he determined that a nice 4 pound rack of pork would do it. He removed the ribs and trimmed it a bit and was left with three pounds of meat. Pressure cooked it and it was very good indeed. Many thanks for that recipe. How do you make the cauliflower rice? I sorta winged it by roasting the florets (with olive oil and pepper) for about 45 minutes in a 400F oven them sorta mashing, cutting, with a fork. Added some avocado cubes. What did I miss?
you did not miss much… 😉 I use the oven method a lot these days, before I used to simply sautee the riced cauliflower in some type of fat like in this post https://bewitchingkitchen.com/2016/05/28/fakebouleh/
yes, it will definitely work in the pressure cooker
use this method, maybe a little less time will be ok
Speaking of contradictions in terms, it’s a little jarring to see a recipe titled “New Mexico Pork Chili.” Here in New Mexico, it’s always “chile.”
Having said that, the idea of using country style ribs seems a bit brilliant; so much easier than tearing apart a big pork butt. It should also cook faster and more evenly. I’m trying it soon.
will edit the post, thanks for the lesson! 😉
BTW, I always thought that chile referred to the pepper, whereas chili would be the whole dish, I mean the spicy stew made with all types of chiles
I guess I was mistaken….
I could see where you might think that, but it’s all chile here. The red and green sauce you often find in NM cooking is chile, and normally called either red or green. I never see “chili” used here, unless someone is making a deliberate reference to what is called chili in other parts of the country. The chile spelling is ubiquitous in New Mexico.
Cool! Live and learn! Anyway, I fixed the title of the post, and the title of the recipe. I will leave the PDF printout version as it is… because I’m a bit busy to make another one right now… at any rate, thanks for pointing that out to me!
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How frustrating to have to throw away meat! At least country style boneless ribs are a more affordable type of meat. The chili looks delicious and perfect for a cold winter day!
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Exactly, at least it was not beef tenderloin… oh, that would have killed me!
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Love the look of this chili, Sally. WIth the meat not being minced, it looks so much more stew-like, a big plus in my book. I agree that buying a pork shoulder/butt oft seems like a better idea at the meat counter than it does at home on the cutting board. When I do buy one, I’ll buy it bone-in, only so that I can use the bones in a tomato sauce in the days ahead. I gain strength thinking about that pot of sauce simmering on the stove top. 🙂
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I also find chili that uses cut up meat much better – texture, taste. When you use ground meat, it’s simply not the same
It’s the perfect season for crock pot recipes! Can’t wait to try this. Looks delish!
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I hope you try it! Very nice and so simple to put together!
Oh wow! This is going on our Sunday night football meal rotation ASAP. Finally a crockpot recipe that doesn’t require you to brown meat in a skillet and dirty the whole kitchen first! I stumbled on the value of those boneless country style pork ribs a few years ago. And — just hit our 13th year living in New Mexico earlier this month and still write chili instead of chile (Mean corrected me over at CT, I think more than once).
Looks heavenly and I can’t wait to make it! We love New Mexican cuisine!!