Many years ago, I was pressed for a daily special at my café. I needed one that used up some leftover bbq pulled pork and fit the cold autumn day. I fused two of my favourite comfort foods together and thus, BBQ pork chili was born.
It all started with half of a leftover loin of roasted BBQ pork and a quick scan of the pantry yielded a couple tins of tomatoes and beans. Less than an hour later, it was moving out the door better than I had hoped.
In fact, BBQ pork chili became one of my best sellers and most requested to for fall lunch catering. We paired ours with cheesy cornbread, smashed potato salad and brownies for dessert.
BBQ pork chili can be made with ground pork, as in the recipe I’ve posted, or as a way to use up left over BBQ pulled pork as it was in my original creation. Using up left overs in clever ways that make it fresh and tasty is a pro tip I haven’t posted yet, but is an important hack for any good kitchen.
As with lots of great dishes, one of the key ingredients is an attractive sounding name. It needs to have a flow as well as a draw to it. “Pork chili with a hint of bbq” seems clunky. Having visited friends of mine in the southern US just prior to that and seeing how much of a culture the BBQ is down there, I was inspired.
I won’t say which state has the best BBQ (the quarrelling would be endless), but what I’ve tried in Mississippi was one of my favourites.
The menu board got written as “Mississippi BBQ pork chili”. And it took off from there.
Love chili? Try our Tomatillo Chicken Chili, made with ground chicken, tomatillo and white beans for a break from the red chili norm.
BBQ Pork Chili
- Sauce pot
- Knife and cutting board
- Your favorite wooden spoon
- 1 lb pork ground or diced
- 1 28oz tin tomatoes crushed or diced
- 3 cups beans whichever you like; I used Romanos here
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 whole onion diced
- 2 sticks celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper black or cayenne; it up to you
Building the chili
- Heat up the soup pot to meduim-high; add the oil, salt and pepper.
- Once the salt and pepper begin to release their aromas, add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper mince; stir thoroughly.
- Add the ground pork. Break up and stir until fully cooked.
- Add the cumin, chili powder and satir thoroughly.
- Add diced tomato and barbeque sauce.
- Once it reaches a boil, add beans and reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (you can simmer it for an hour or more, but it will reduce in volume, requiring more liquid to be added).