Long Road Chili: Smoked pork belly chili

Smoked Pork Belly Chili: the crown jewel of autumn

Rain has plagued your journey down the Long Road. For days, you have slogged along, some days in a light mist, others a torrent that almost obscured your hand before your face. The air carried a constant chill. The brilliantly colored leaves stood in stark contrast against a slate sky. When you finally found shelter and a warm fire, a bowl of delicious smoked pork belly chili was waiting for you. Your bones were warmed; the journey was worth it for this savory bite.

This dish is meant to be shared, as it yields over a dozen cups. It’s perfect for tailgating, or sharing with friends while sessioning some new microbrews.

Recipe Notes

I would recommend playing with the spice rubs; this was made with Dash Cunning, but you could easily substitute any of the other rubs, and it would be just as good, albeit with a different taste profile.

For the beer in this pork belly chili, I used Elysium Immortal IPA, though you could substitute just about any beer you want. Please, for the love of little apples, use good beer, preferably a local microbrew or respected brewery. Don’t subject your food, mouth, or liver, to bad beer.

This is another dish inspired by the Acquisitions Intoxicated series on Twitch (Tuesdays, 12 noon PCT). I highly recommend it.  And I believe that Jerry Holkins’ (@TychoBrahe) reaction to the dish says it all:

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Long Road Chili: Smoked pork belly chili in your belly
pork-belly-chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
pork-belly-chili
Instructions
  1. Cut diagonal slits through the skin on the pork belly, 1" apart, then cut intersecting slits at the same spacing so that you create an "X" pattern. Take care not to cut into the fat. This is to allow the rub to penetrate more of the meat.
  2. Cover the pork belly with the Spice Rub.
  3. Heat your smoker to 250 degrees. If your setup includes some kind of liquid pan, add 2 bottles of beer (these are over and above the beer called for in the recipe). Put the pork belly in the smoker, and add the wood of your choice, according to the smoker instructions.
  4. Smoke the pork belly until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat, and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
While the pork belly is smoking
  1. Prepare your other ingredients.
Once the pork has completed its rest
  1. Chop the pork belly up into 1/2" chunks.
  2. In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the pork belly. Cook until the fat renders and the pork belly has browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and ground pork. Add some salt and pepper, and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. Add the peppers and the onions. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until onions start to become translucent and begin to brown.
  5. Add the garlic. With a spoon, push the ingredients in the pot to the sides to expose the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the beer to deglaze the pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits off the bottom. Redistribute the ingredients and stir. Cook until the beer has reduced by about half.
  6. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and beans. Return to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste along the way, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  7. Mix the water, masa harina, and chili powder into a thick paste.
  8. When the chili has cooked down, slowly add in the masa harnina paste. This will start tot thicken the chili.
  9. If you desire thicker chili, start adding in the corn starch 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring in, allowing to incorporate. Take your time with this, as if you add too much in, the chili can get too thick.
  10. Cut the tops off of the rolls, and carefully dig out the insides, taking care not to pierce the outside of the crust.
  11. Heat your grill to high. (If you don't have a grill handy, you can use a broiler with the shelf set to the highest placement.) Place the bread, hole side down, on the grill (or facing up if using the broiler). Toast the roll.
  12. Fill the bread bowls with chili. Add a few pieces of plucked cilantro, and a teaspoon of sour cream. Squeeze a 1/8" slice of lime onto the chili. Add cheese, if desired.
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War Hammer Burger

Warning: this burger is not for the faint of heart. It requires commitment. It requires a steady hand. It requires gastronomic fortitude.  Are you worthy?

The genesis of this burger came from watching Acquisitions Intoxicated on the Penny Arcade Twitch channel. They are brewing a different D&D-themed beer each week, based on the characters of a long-running D&D game the Penny Arcade crew (with other such luminaries as Wil Wheaton, Patrick Rothfuss, and Morgan Webb) has been playing in conjunction with Wizards of the Coast, and run by Chris Perkins.

This week, they brewed a black IPA called WarPriest. When I asked what food would pair well with the finished product, they said a burger, and “meat”. The result is the War Hammer: beef, chorizo, prosciutto, bacon, and a fried egg with Zombie Punch Sauce (cause a cleric’s burger should be able to turn the undead).

I’ll be honest, I got the meat sweats while eating it. I’ve decided that this is a “sometimes” burger.

See my question and Eric’s answer for pairings at the 35:25 minute mark below. Adult language.

Watch live video from PennyArcade on www.twitch.tv

 

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War Hammer Burger
war-hammer-burger
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
burger
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
burger
Ingredients
war-hammer-burger
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to high.
  2. Mix the beef, chorizo, and Dash Cunning Spice Rub in a bowl with your fingers. Form into a patty about 1 inch thick, and use your thumbs to put a divot in the middle of the top.
  3. Add the bacon to a cold skillet, and place over medium/medium-high heat. Cook until crispy; keep the rendered bacon fat in the pan
  4. Put your burger on the grill. Turn after 4 minutes. Remove from the grill after another 3 minutes, or once desired doneness has been reached. Quickly toast your bun on the hot grill.
  5. Start building the burger: patty, Zombie Punch BBQ Sauce, prosciutto, bacon.
  6. Heat the bacon fat over medium heat, and crack the egg into the pan, taking care not to break the yolk. Fry for about 1 minute until the egg white and yolk are set, then place on top of the burger.
  7. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top, and then dig in.
    war-hammer-burger
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Saint Brian’s Burger

The Saint Brian’s Burger was what started it all. In 2014, I was feeling like Saint Brian’s BBQ wasn’t going to get off of the ground in the face of all of the hurdles that exist in starting a food-based business. My wife’s uncle, Ira Gutman, owned a hot dog joint in Cherry Hill called Coll Dog Cafe where they served up deep fried gourmet, all-beef hot dogs with all sorts of toppings. He graciously offered up his kitchen for making the sauce, and made a “Saint Brian’s Burger” special that featured the rub and the sauce.

The Cool Dog isn’t there any more (Ira has since opened the Moondog Grille in the Moorestown Mall), and I’ve moved on to a professional kitchen, but the Saint Brian’s Burger is a classic that will never go away.

Use the recipe for Saint Brian’s Coleslaw and Saint Brian’s Beer Battered Onion Rings in conjunction with this recipe.

Saint Brian's Burger

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
Side Dish Recipes
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Saint Brian's Burger
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
Before making the burger
  1. Make the Saint Brian's Coleslaw, found in the Side Recipes
  2. Make some large fried onion rings, found in the Side Recipes
Making the Burger
  1. Combine the ground beef and Dash Cunning Spice Rub in a bowl, and mix with your hands. Either cook right away, or seal and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Form the burgers. When forming them, create a divot in the middle of one side. This will prevent the burger from ballooning up into a meatball shape, and also give you an indication for when it is time to flip it.
  3. Preheat your grill to high according to the manufacturer instructions. When heated, you should only be able to hold your open palm 2-3 inches from the surface for 2 seconds.
  4. Oil the grill grates.
  5. Place the burgers over direct heat, divot side up, and cook for about 5 minutes. When you see blood droplets form on the divot, and the burger releases easily from the grate with a spatula, it's time to flip. Flip the burger and cook for another 4-5 minutes. In the last 2 minutes add the cheese slices and toast the buns. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Build the burger: bun, burger, pickles, coleslaw, onion ring, sauce, bun
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Breakfast Barbecue Burger

The Saint Brian’s Breakfast Barbecue Burger is an amazing way to start a weekend of fiery cooking revelry.

Set the scene: you’ve organized a weekend campout/cookout for your friends. The sun has peaked over the horizon, night’s cool still hangs in the air, the morning mists cling to the ground. As your guests awake and emerge, the grill is already fired up and you’ve started breakfast, it’s alluring aroma mixing with coffee brewing on the fire.  Beef, sausage, avocado, egg…it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.

The key to this dish is preparing all of the ingredients (mise en place) prior to firing up the grill. As a secondary point, being gentle with the eggs will allow for the yolks to run out all over the burger at the first bite and will really tie all of the ingredients together.

While you can use white cheddar in this recipe, it will be well-worth it to use raclette.

Pork Recipes
Beef Recipes
Chicken Recipes
Side Dish Recipes
Print Recipe
Saint Brian's Breakfast Barbecue Burger
A breakfast burger as epic as the day you will have upon eating it.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix the beef, sausage, and spice rub in a bowl. You will need to take care to break up the sausage so that it is evenly mixed throughout.
  2. Form the mixture into 2 patties, gently. Don't overwork the meat, or else you'll end up making meatloaf. Use your thumb to put a small divot in the middle of the top side of the patty. This will prevent it from puffing up and turning into a meatball, and will help alert you as to when to flip it.
  3. Put the burger patties on a screaming hot, oiled grill.
  4. If you have a side burner, start cooking your bacon. You can also do this ahead of time so you can concentrate on the burger itself.
  5. When you start to see blood droplets forming on top of the burger, it's time to flip them, about 5 minutes. The burger will release easily from the grill. If you really have to work a spatula under there, it means it's not time yet.
  6. With about 2 minutes left (you should cook the burgers about 5 minutes per side), toast the buns and melt the cheese on the burgers.
  7. Remove the burgers from the grill. Build the burgers: bacon, avocado, burger, tomato, sauce.
  8. Fry the egg in the same pan that you cooked the bacon. There should be enough grease in there to cook the egg white all of the way through without having to flip it and risk breaking the yolk. Cooking time: 1 minute on the heat, 1 minute off.
  9. Gently add the eggs to the top of the burger.
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