Black Bean Chili Surprise

Photo Source: VeryBestBaking

Photo Source: VeryBestBaking

On Wednesday, I shared that our office recently held our annual chili cook-off.  Six chilis were entered in the contest, and I so enjoyed tasting all of the different flavor and texture combinations that my colleagues experimented with.  The various recipes featured everything from bison and spaghetti to turkey and cinnamon.

Although all of the recipes were tasty, I was not surprised when the judges announced that Dennis Henry’s Black Bean Chili Surprise won.  I loved the dimension that the chipotle powder added to the chili and the corn bread topping added the perfect amount of sweet to balance the spice.  And, I had never had a pork-based chili, so that was a special treat.

If you’re looking for a hearty one-dish winter meal with interesting flavors, I think you’ve found what you’re looking for.

*Dennis Henry’s Black Bean Chili Surprise


  • 1 lb. of bacon
  • 2 lb. of pork loin
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ C chili powder
  • 1 ½ t ground cumin
  • 12 oz. beer
  • ½ C ketchup
  • 1 ½ t dried oregano
  • ¾ t salt
  • ¼ t pepper
  • 3 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with chipotle
  • 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz. of diced chilies
  • 4 oz. of Pimiento, drained


  • 1 T seasoned salt
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T chipotle chili powder
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T granulated garlic
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • ½ T ground cumin
  • ½ T ground ginger
  • ½ T ground mustard


Cut the pork loin into 4 to 5 equal pieces.  Combine meat rub seasonings in a large zip lock bag.  Add the meat to the bag and make sure all sides are covered with the rub.  Store in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 275*F and lightly oil a Dutch oven or covered oven safe pot.  Place the pork and onion (cut in quarters) in the greased Dutch oven, and cover the pork with the bacon strips.   Cover and bake in the  oven for 3 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the pork is 145 degrees.

Once the meat has finished cooking, shred the pork and dice-up the onion and bacon.  Add the diced onion and bacon to a large pan on a medium heat.  Add chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.  Add beer, ketchup, oregano, salt, pepper and beans.  Cover, and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer over low heat 30 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole dish.  Mix corn muffin mix according to the directions on the box and add the chilies, cheese and pimientos to the mixture.  Layer the muffin batter on top of the chili mix.  Bake in a 425*F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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