At this stage of life (three kids, husband, school, house, laundry, cooking, cleaning… you get the idea!) I sometimes find myself thinking…I need to get away! This always seems to hit me during the month of October. Coincidentally, my children have a school free week mid month. Where do we usually go, you may ask? Living close to the mountains, we have many options, but the town of Breckenridge beckons me like no other. It is a perfect mountain escape. Plus the time-share there kinda helps.
It is beautiful and amazing, inviting and charming, quaint yet full of fun outdoorsy activities.
Can you tell I’m obsessed?
The week leading up to our Breck trip is always filled with a lot of crazy running around to get ready, and a lot of pre cooking since we like to balance eating in and eating out on our trip. This year, we decided to do a big pot of shredded pork chili. I say we, but actually I did the deciding, and Jason (my husband) did the cooking. Quite often that’s how our relationship works. Luckily for me, the boy can cook! I love chili, especially if there are lots and lots of beans. I have never met a bean I didn’t like, so this is a very beany chili. I also snuck in some lima beans. Jason wasn’t originally thrilled but came around when he saw how it thickened the chili in the perfect way!
Shredded Pork Chili (with lots and lots of beans)
- 3 pounds pork shoulder (country style pork ribs will also work)
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2-4 diced chilies of any kind (poblano, anaheim, jalapeño)
- 1 16 ounce package dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
- ½ 16 ounce package dried black beans, soaked overnight
- ½ 16 ounce package dried lima beans, soaked overnight
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes (14.5 ounces each)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons new mexico chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Chop the pork into fairly large pieces, and sprinkle with the rub. Massage the rub into the meat. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sear pork on all sides, place finished pieces in a pressure cooker, working in batches. After all of the pork is seared and in the pressure cooker, pour the remaining rub on top. Add water to the pan, covering the pork most of the way. Cook in the pressure cooker for approx. 45 minutes, according to manufacturers instructions.
Since we live at high altitude, it is necessary for us to precook our beans before they cook in the chili. I place them in a crock-pot for about 4 hours on low, covered with water, and salt added. If you don’t live at high altitude, disregard this part!
After the meat is finished, remove it from the pan and cool. Once the liquid has cooled, strain the fat from the top, and set aside. Shred the cooled pork, and set aside.
In a large stockpot, sauté the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and chilies. Add the braising liquid, shredded pork, and beans. Add the cans of tomatoes and the tomato paste. Add all of the seasoning, and stir thoroughly. Add enough water until desired consistency is reached. Simmer the chili for at least an hour, longer if you did not pre cook the beans.
Not only is Breckenridge too cute for words; they have amazing food. To me, there’s nothing better than grabbing a delicious bite to eat without having to slow down, so we often opt for street food. Our favorite in Breckenridge is their delightful little crepe stand.
This crepe stand has many options, for the sweet tooth, or not. Unlike everyone else in my family, I will always take the savory route; their pesto chicken crepe is to die for. My children and husband will always agree on the nutella, banana, and strawberry combination. Luckily for me, that means I don’t have to share!
The best part about this place is their patio. Of course, they have tables and chairs, but the best part is the fireplace. You can warm your fingers and eat all at the same time!
Since we are on vacation, there is no better way to start the day than the hot tub and some delicious Irish coffee. I think you can figure out the recipe on your own…but if not, here’s a good one. Beware: it’s strong! (Especially if you have not had breakfast….)
- 6 oz. brewed coffee (the stronger the better)
- 1 oz. Irish cream liqueur
- 1 oz. Irish whiskey