pork shank chili

This pork shank chili recipe did not win the annual Esquire competition but it is my favorite and it is easy to make. It may need to cook a little longer than they recommend and I suggest soaking the beans in warm water for 24 hours before adding them. The only other difficult part is finding properly pork Shanks. I have used a picnic shoulder cut (with a saw) into 5 thick section and it works ok.

5 lbs pork shanks, cut osso buco style (approximately 6 2-inch pieces)
kosher salt
spice mix*
½ cup canola-and-olive-oil blend
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 bottle stout
2 14-oz cans diced organic tomatoes (with juice)
4 qts organic beef stock
dried bean mix: 1 cup each red beans, pinto beans, black beans, posole (dried hominy)
1 small bunch
cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced

diced tomato
diced red onion
sliced green onion
shredded pepper jack cheese

Generously season pork shanks with kosher salt and a handful of the spice mix. Reserve remainder. In a very large pasta pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shanks and brown all over, about four minutes per side. Remove from pan and reserve. Add garlic to cooking pot and sauté until just golden, about two minutes. Add onions and chiles and cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about four minutes. Add bay leaves and remaining spice mix, stirring constantly to toast spices, about three minutes. Add stout, tomatoes, and beef stock and stir. Return pork shanks to pot, add dried bean mix, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until shanks are very tender, about three hours. Remove shanks from pot and cool. Add Tabasco and salt to taste — typically about 2 ½ tbsp each — to the chili. Keep simmering for a thicker chili; otherwise, reserve and keep warm. When shanks are cool enough to handle, remove bone, excess fat, and sinew, and return meat to hot chili. Stir in cilantro and green onions. Bring to boil and adjust taste, adding more salt and Tabasco if needed. Add garnish. Serves 8 to 10.

*Spice mix: 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground white pepper, 1 tsp cayenne, 4 tbsp New Mexico chili powder mixed with 2 tbsp each: ancho chile powder, ground cumin, chipotle chili powder.

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