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Spicy Pork Chili

This spicy pork chili is loaded with a plethora of spices, onion, jalapeno, and pork so tender it falls apart. This family favorite is simple to prepare on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot and gluten-free.

Two bowls of chili with rice atop a green dish towel.

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I’m normally not the sentimental type, especially when it comes to food, but this is a recipe I hold very near and dear to my heart.

This was my sister Madison’s very favorite dish; a dish she frequently requested for her birthday dinner. Her birthday is today, December 26th.

Today she would have been 31 years old.

Madison passed away nearly three years ago as a result of a fire in her rental home which did not have smoke detectors. I beg of you to take this opportunity to make sure you and your loved ones have working smoking detectors installed in your homes. Madison’s death very well may have been prevented had she had them.

My sister was a vibrant soul. Her ability to connect with others, her zest for life, and her go-getter mentality continues to inspire me every day. In fact, her life and subsequently her passing inspired me to follow my passion and start this blog.

Madison’s favorite foods were very similar to herself; full-bodied. She particularly loved onions and anything (and everything) spicy.

That being said, it makes perfect sense that she would love this dish so much; it has plenty of both.

My sister, however, is not the only one who loves this dish. It’s been a family and friend favorite since the first time my mother made it many years ago. The S.I.A.M. in the title stands for “stuff I always make” because we eat it so frequently.

Once you’ve tried this super simple chili, you will understand why it’s been a mainstay in our diets for so long. Hopefully, it become a regular in your dinner rotation as well.

This dish is so incredibly flavorful. The pork is marinated in Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning which includes a whole slew of spices including chili powder, paprika, and coriander. On top of that, it’s cooked with a whole lotta onion, jalapenos, and tomatoes.

By the time you pop it out of the oven (or Instant Pot), the pork will literally fall apart with just the touch of a spoon. It’s so tender, flavorful, and juicy.

The combination of the pork with the rest of the ingredients results in the most mouthwateringly spicy chili. **If you don’t like spicy food, it’s probably best to shy away from this dish.

I typically serve it over white rice, but it can be stuffed into a burrito or be used as a filling for tacos. I have been known to do all three. I promise it will be delicious no matter how you choose to serve it.

A bowl of chili with rice with a second bowl in the background.

Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for spicy pork chili (see recipe card).
  • Emeril’s Southwest seasoning: For this spice mixture you will need: chili powder, paprika (regular or smoked), ground coriander, garlic powder, kosher salt, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, ground black pepper, and dried oregano. If you don’t want to mix it up yourself you can even purchase it. I have included an Amazon link below. You will need to use the entire container.
  • Neutral oil: For searing the meat and sauteing the onion and jalapenos. I typically just use canola or vegetable oil for this.
  • Pork shoulder: Trim off as much fat as you like and cut into one-inch chunks.
  • White onions
  • Fresh jalapenos: So here’s the thing about jalapenos, there is a lot of variation in how hot they are. That being said it’s hard to judge how many jalapenos you should use for this recipe and ultimately how spicy the dish will be. I would shoot for 8-12 medium to large peppers. If you’re shooting for a pretty spicy chili, leave the seeds and membranes intact. Otherwise, you can remove the seeds and membranes from half of the peppers or from all of them if you want to make this dish even milder.
  • Canned diced tomatoes: Crushed or stewed tomatoes will also work.
  • Tomato paste
  • Cooked white rice: As far as rice goes, I always recommend a long-grain variety like basmati or jasmine because it’s nice and fluffy. For optimal results: bring 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of rice to a boil along with a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a saucepan (with a lid), add the rice and bring back to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let rest for five minutes with the lid on. **Do not remove the lid at any point while it is cooking as this will release the steam disrupting the cooking process. After five minutes stir in salt to taste and it’s good to go.
  • Optional toppings: Guacamole or sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped cilantro.

How to make pork S.I.A.M (spicy pork chili) (+ tips)


Begin by making Emeril’s Southwest seasoning, by combing all the spices in a jar or bowl. If you purchased the seasoning already combined, then you can obviously skip this step.

Add the pork shoulder chunks and the spice mixture to a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two to 24 hours.

Close up of marinated pork chunks.

After the pork has marinated and you are ready to begin cooking the chili, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator and heat one tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, in three batches, sear the pork on all four sides, adding a tablespoon of oil between each batch. For a good sear, make sure that the pork is not overlapping. Transfer the pork to a separate bowl once it is seared.

Browned pork chunks on a plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the onion, and jalapeno and sauté for five minutes

Sautéed onion and jalapeno in a Dutch oven.

Return the pork as well as the diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the dutch oven and stir to combine.

Chili in Dutch oven prior to baking.

Cover and bake for at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours or leave it in all day. The longer it cooks the more developed the flavors and tender the pork will be. The meat should be so tender that it easily falls apart.

Finished chili in a Dutch oven.

Serve warm over rice with your choice of toppings.


Can I make spicy pork chili in an Instant Pot?


You can most definitely make Instant Pot pork chili! Follow the original directions until you have completed step five, sautéing the veggies. At this point transfer the mixture as well as the pork to the Instant Pot. Add the remaining ingredients, close the lid and pressure valve, and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally, then do a quick release.

You can certainly brown the meat and sauté the onion and jalapenos in the Instant Pot if you prefer, but since the bowl is so small I find it’s easier to do so in a separate pan.


Storage


Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.



Two bowls of chili with rice atop a green dish towel.
Close up of a bow of spicy pork chili garnished with chopped cilantro.

If this sounds good, you may also like:


  • Beef Birria (Mexican Stew): Beef birria is a slow-cooked, savory Mexican stew made with beef, a blend of chile peppers, onion, garlic, and a variety of spices. This dish is warm and inviting with a depth of flavor that goes unmatched. Naturally gluten-free.

If you make this pork S.I.A.M. (spicy pork chili) I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Close up of a bow of spicy pork chili garnished with chopped cilantro.

Pork S.I.A.M. (Spicy Pork Chili)

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

One of my all-time favorite recipes, this spicy pork chili is EXPLODING with flavor thanks to the plethora of spices, onion, and jalapeños. Whether you serve it over rice or stuff it in a burrito or tacos you won't regret it. Gluten-free with oven and Instant Pot directions.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Emeril's Southwest Seasoning (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil (olive, canola, or vegetable) 
  • 3 pound pork shoulder roast, fat trimmed and cut into 1" pieces 
  • 2 small-medium white onions, chopped
  • 8-12 medium-large jalapenos, halved horizontally then sliced into 1/2" pieces (see notes) 
  • 2-28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-6 ounce can tomato paste
  • Cooked white rice for serving (see notes)
  • Optional toppings: Cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro. 

Instructions

  1. Add the pork shoulder chunks and Emeril's Southwest seasoning to a large bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two to 24 hours.
  2. After the pork has marinated and you are ready to begin cooking the chili, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and heat one tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, in three batches, sear the pork on all four sides, adding a tablespoon of oil between each batch. For a good sear, make sure that the pork is not overlapping. Transfer the pork to a separate bowl once it is seared.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, the onion, and jalapeno and sauté for five minutes.
  5. Return the pork as well as the diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the dutch oven and stir to combine.
  6. Cover and bake for at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the pork is nice and tender.
  7. Serve warm over white rice with your choice of toppings.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

Notes

    • You can easily mix up this seasoning yourself or purchase it if you prefer.
    • So here's the thing about jalapenos, there is a lot of variation in how hot they are. That being said it's hard to judge how many jalapenos you should use for this recipe and ultimately how spicy the dish will be. I would shoot for 8-12 medium to large peppers. If you're shooting for a pretty spicy chili, leave the seed membranes intact. Otherwise, you can remove the seeds and membranes from half of the peppers or from all of them if you want to make this dish even milder.
    • As far as rice goes, I always recommend a long-grain variety like basmati or jasmine because it's nice and fluffy. For optimal results: bring 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of rice to a boil along with a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a saucepan (with a lid), add the rice and bring back to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and let rest for five minutes with the lid on. **Do not remove the lid at any point while it is cooking as this will release the steam disrupting the cooking process which will result in less than desirable rice. After five minutes stir in salt to taste and it's good to go.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 660mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Addie

Saturday 20th of November 2021

So hearty and flavorful!

Jean

Thursday 18th of November 2021

More rice for me please! Love the spiciness of this recipe and yes goes well with burrito too.

Genevieve

Friday 29th of October 2021

This looks delicious and perfect for the upcoming cold winter months.

Jessica Halverstadt

Friday 29th of October 2021

It so is! The spices warm you right up and it is nice and hearty.

Lilly

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

The level of spice is perfect! I will definitely be making this chili again!

Jessica Halverstadt

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I'm so happy to hear you thought so. Hope you enjoy it as much next time!

Andrea White

Tuesday 26th of October 2021

so simple! i love easy recipes like this!

Jessica Halverstadt

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

Aren't they the best!?! <3

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