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Pork Apple Chili

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This recipe stemmed from an apple picking trip where we inadvertently came home with 45 pounds of apples and had to come up with loads of creative uses for them. This one features five kinds of pork to complement the apples; my guests and family alike can’t get enough of this chili.

Ingredients
olive oil, 2 tablespoons
3 Sausages, ¾ pounds
2 pork chops, ¾ pounds halved down the center, then sliced
ground pork, ¾ pounds
5 large garlic cloves, ¼ cups minced
Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons
kosher salt, 1 teaspoon
Frank’s or other mild hot sauce, 2 tablespoons
smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons
ground rosemary, 2 tablespoons
mustard powder, 2 tablespoons
black pepper, 1 tablespoon
1 ham hock, about ¾ pounds
pancetta, 4 ounces chopped into small pieces
3 shallots, 1 cup chopped
whisky, 1 cup
3 cobs of corn (or frozen equivalent), 2 cups of kernels
6 small apples (mix varieties or use your favorite), 4.5 cups chunked
juice of 1 orange
maple syrup, 3 tablespoons
fresh thyme, ¼ cups minced
bell pepper, 1 med, 1¼ cups chopped
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans
brown sugar, 3 tablespoons
chili powder, pinch (or to taste)

Preheat Dutch oven over medium low heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook sausages until lightly browned. Remove them from the pan, let them rest, and slice them (they shouldn’t be cooked all the way through). Keep the cooked-off fat in the pot.

In a bowl, mix pork chops, ground pork and sliced sausage with garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, hot sauce and 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, smoked paprika, rosemary, mustard powder and black pepper.

Cook ham hock for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of whisky and bring heat up to medium high. Fold in the bowl of seasoned meat, and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add corn and apple and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in ¾ cup of whisky, juice of one orange, maple syrup and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, crushed tomato and black beans. Season with brown sugar, chili powder and 1 tablespoon each of smoked paprika, rosemary and mustard powder.

Cover and simmer on low heat or in 250-degree oven for 2½ hours. When done, remove ham hock from pan, mince after cooling and fold back into the pot.

Presentation Idea: Make crostinis with slices of baguette, apple slices and cheddar cheese. Top with a fresh chive once baked – and good luck trying to eat just one or two!