Spicy Pork Chili with Maple Imperial Stout

This chili was developed for a February beer-and-food-pairing dinner at Mad River Glen hosted by Sean Lawson, where he runs the naturalist programs. It gets richness and heft from the Fayston Maple Imperial Stout from Lawson's Finest.
By | January 01, 2014


Heat large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon crisps and starts to brown. Remove bacon to a plate with slotted spoon, leaving behind the delicious rendered fat. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the fat into a jar; set aside. Add the ground pork and a pinch of salt; cook over medium-high heat, stirring a few times, until the pork is cooked through and nicely browned. Remove the pork from the pot.

Add another couple tablespoons of the bacon fat to the pot with the onion and
the garlic. Season with a generous pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until the onions start to caramelize. Add a few tablespoons of water, as needed, to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the spices; toast, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, beans, stout and maple syrup to the pot along with the cooked pork and bacon. Bring to a gentle boil then lower to a simmer to cook for about 45 minutes, until the chili has thickened and come together. Season with salt to taste and serve with warm corn tortillas, cotija cheese, chopped red onion and a squeeze of lime.

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  • 3 slices thick-cut, smoky bacon, chopped
  • 1½ pounds coarsely ground pork
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 to 2 large chipotles in adobo, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole canned tomatoes, crushed, with their juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1¾ to 2 cups Lawson’s Finest Fayston Maple Imperial Stout
  • 1 tablespoon pure Vermont maple syrup
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