1st Place Pumpkin Pork Chili

pumpkin pork chili

I developed this recipe a little over a year ago and knew I had to save it for the annual chili cook-off at work. I hoped it was a winner and it was! Thank you to everyone who liked it and voted for it. There was stiff competition this year, as always.  My favorite was a Thai coconut chili.   As promised, here is my winning recipe.

Pumpkin Pork Chili

I love the addition of the pureed pumpkin which mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and adds another layer of flavor

1 poblano chile
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion,  thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1/4 cup chili powder (Gebhardt’s is good)
4 garlic cloves, sliced into slivers
3 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small Delicata or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
12 oz. lager
3 cups chicken stock
2 chiles in Adobo sauce, cut into small dice
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin puree
1 bunch of hearty greens, such as mustard or kale, stemmed and roughly chopped

Char the poblano chile under the broiler or over a medium gas flame until it is charred all over. Place in a paper bag for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the bag. Slip the skin off the pepper, remove the seeds, and cut into small dice.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pressure cooker or large stock pot over medium heat. Add the poblano chili, onions and salt; cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder and garlic; cook 5 minutes.

Add the pork, squash, beer, chicken stock, Adobo chilies and tomatoes to the pot.

If you’re using a pressure cooker, lock the lid in place and bring it up to pressure according to the instructions of your manufacturer.  Cook at pressure for 35 minutes.  Lower pressure naturally and then remove lid. 

If you’re using a stock pot, simmer the chili until the pork is tender, one to two hours.

Stir in the pureed pumpkin and the greens. Simmer 15-20 more minutes until the greens are soft.

Check seasoning.

Serve with sour cream.

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