Pork Chili for Halloween

by Tokyo Terrace on October 29, 2009

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to vote for your favorite Foodbuzz Award Nominees! Don’t forget to vote!!! Yes, Tokyo Terrace is a nominee in two categories: Best New Blog and Blogger you would most like to make you a cocktail.

And by the way, you can vote even if you aren’t a member of Foodbuzz. Here is the list of nominees. Good luck to everyone!
IMG_6257Ok, on to today’s post! Sorry about the finger prints on the wine glass in the photo above. Apparently I got a little thirsty and had messy little fingers…whoops!
IMG_6250With Halloween literally around the corner there are plenty of opportunities to make some delicious food for parties or for quiet family dinners while the doorbell rings away. This recipe is fast, easy and delicious for whatever you have planned for All Hallows Eve.
IMG_6259My family traditionally has chili on Halloween. I don’t remember this being a long time tradition, but over the past few years it has become the norm. For my chili recipe, I’ve added a couple secret ingredients to add depth of flavor: cinnamon and whiskey. Yep. You read that correctly. Hey, nothing wrong with adding a little something different, right?

The cinnamon creates an amazing aroma to the chili and creates a warm, comforting flavor to the pork. The whisky, which I used because I didn’t have any beer around, helped to round out the flavor of the cinnamon a bit. These flavors combined with melt-in-your-mouth pork are what I like to call deliciousness in a bowl! And not even a little bit scary…even though it is Halloween.


I don’t have a crockpot here in Tokyo, but if I did I would use it for this recipe. So, if you have one, break it out of the closet and fire it up! The pork will be super tender. Mine was tender too, but it was just missing that slow cooker finesse. (I added a note in the recipe about which steps you should do prior to the slow cooker steppin’ in to do the work for you.)

I did not add all the vegetables I normally would, simply because I did not have them on hand, but this scaled down version was quite scrumptious. You could of course add any veggies you please- mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc. The simple garnish of creamy avocado slices and shredded cheese was plenty for me on this particular day. Oh, and crunchy saltine crackers are a must!

Pork Chili for Halloween

Serves 4

2 lbs pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 28oz can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/4 cup whiskey

1 cup chicken broth or water

avocado slices

shredded cheese

salt and black pepper

Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper on all sides (after cutting into cubes). Heat the oil in the bottom of a heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pork, cinnamon, cumin and chili powder. Stir to coat the pork well. Cook until pork is well browned on all sides. (If you have a slow cooker, put everything in there RIGHT NOW! You can do the rest by setting the timer or whatever else you crazy crock pot owners do… It’s been so long I’ve forgotten how to operate one of those things!)

Add the tomatoes and whiskey. Bring to a slow simmer and add the chicken broth (or water). Bring back to a simmer, then cover and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili is boiling too much, turn the heat down slightly.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls and top with the avocado slices and cheese. Serve with saltines or tortilla chips and enjoy!

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  • Jan

    Oh my goodness. This looks sooo good, and I have a crock pot!

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com Divina

    Yum, they look fantastic. It’s warming and comforting. I have a crock pot too.

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  • http://mybflikeitsoimbg.blogspot.com Peggy

    This looks great! Simple and delicious! I’m sure I’ll try the crockpot version soon!

  • Jan

    My extra crockpot is yours. Come and get it. ha ha

  • http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    Love that you can make this in a crockpot! Perfect!

  • officeabovethedumpsters

    OOOH! I got a try adding whiskey and cinnamon to my green chile! Pretty close to the same recipe except tomatillos instead of italian tomatoes and green chilis instead of the chili powder.

  • http://earlkai.blogspot.com/ cocopuff1212

    Ooooooh, this looks like an instant winner! It’s been soup and stew kind of weather here, and I’m already missing my crockpot (we left it in the U.S.). Looked for one, but haven’t been able to find any.

    Have you seen this? I think it works like a crockpot.

  • http://www.pureluxury.com Gina

    At first I thought, cinnamon and whiskey?! But before I even finished reading the recipe I thought, yum to cinnamon and whiskey! Kudos on the photos – looks beautiful!

  • http://www.bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com Ninette

    Not surprised at all that you had whiskey on hand. I lived in Japan a couple years when I was just out of college and whiskey was part of many a late night with the Japanesese sarariman. I just made a chili which won a local chili cookoff with beer, chocolate, and bacon. I like your idea of pork, cinnamon, and whiskey.

  • http://theurbanspork.com TheUrbanSpork

    This looks delicious – I can’t wait to try it out this weekend!

  • tokyoterrace

    Jan: Lucky duck! You’ll have to let me know how it turns out for you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Divina: All you crock pot owners are making me so jealous!

  • tokyoterrace

    Peggy: Thank you so much! Glad you liked the post and I hope you’ll give the recipe a try!

  • tokyoterrace

    Mardi: Crockpots are pretty awesome!

  • tokyoterrace

    officabovethedumpsters: Wow, your chili version sounds so delicious! I wish I had access to tomatillos here…

  • tokyoterrace

    cocopuff1212: Thanks so much for the link! I will definitely look into getting one of those… Isn’t it amazing how such a basic kitchen tool can be so greatly missed?

  • tokyoterrace

    Gina: Yes, it can be a little shocking, but trust me- the resulting taste is delish!

  • tokyoterrace

    Ninette: Yes, whiskey is a common drink for many Japanese people. Understandably so! It is quite good! Your chili sounds awesome! I love the chocolate and bacon combo.

  • tokyoterrace

    theurbanspork: Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com wasabi prime

    You’re amazing — I can trust that you will make something as hearty as chili look incredibly delicate and fresh. Beautiful photos!

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  • officeabovethedumpsters

    I just noticed that my blog name is a tad unfortunate when it appears in a food blog. Sorry!

  • http://balancefood.blogspot.com Chou

    My family has chili every Halloween, too. With cinnamon rolls. Hooray for shared traditions.;)

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