Recipe: Brown-Eyed Sister (Brown Chili) – Wyeth Digital

Recipe: Brown-Eyed Sister (Brown Chili)

Assorted chili peppers

This is an advanced recipe for those that like to smoke their own ingredients, including meat and vegetables.

I have plans to enter a local chili contest, and so I hosted a get-together of friends to get their suggestions and ideas of what direction I should go: Traditional (to the Midwest) tomato-based chili with ground beef and kidney beans, or something more exotic. I was stumped on the exotic part until my friend Chad suggested brown chili. I looked it up and didn’t see a lot of recipes, so I took elements from what I could find, combined them together, added my own twists and came up with something I like to call “Brown-Eyed Sister.” The recipe follows.

Brown-Eyed Sister (brown chili)
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Southwest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This soon-to-be award winner wowed guests at a recent chili-tasting party my wife and I hosted. With no beans and no tomatoes, it's a dish to stretch the boundaries of what chili is. A hearty, thick brown sauce, seasoned with a variety of chili peppers and spices serves as a mouth-warming base for the sweet carrots, celery and smokey pork tenderloin. Cilantro and lime juice adds just the right amount of acid to brighten this many layered sauce.
  • 4 lbs. lime and vinegar marinated, dry-rubbed, and smoked (medium rare) pork tenderloin; diced
  • 1 large yellow or red onion, halved
  • 2 Poblano peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 Serrano peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 Jalepeño pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 Fresno pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 Green or Red Bell pepper, seeded and coarsely diced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, skin on
  • Chili Base ingredients:
  • 32 oz prepared vegetable broth
  • 1½ C. water, ¼ C. reserved
  • 4 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. balsamic vindegar
  • ⅛ - ¼ C. chili powder, to taste
  • 8 oz. chopped or diced carrots
  • ½ C. celery with leaves, chopped
  • Juice from half a lime, squeezed
  • 1 - 2 Tbs. chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage leaves, chopped or crushed
  • ½ large raw onion, diced
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped; to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 Tbs. corn starch
  1. Over a hot grill, or under a broiler, roast all the chili peppers, except for the Fresno. Roast the garlic and ½ the onion. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a large Crock Pot set to High stir together all of the Chili Base ingredients, except for the corn starch and the reserved water.
  3. As the Base heats, chop the pork tenderloin into ½ inch cubes. Add to Base. Dice roasted chili peppers, onion and garlic, saving any juices, and add all to chili Base.
  4. Mince fresh Fresno pepper and add to base. Allow to cook for at least an hour, and test for heat. If it’s too hot, add a bit more water; if you want more heat, add more chili peppers or chipotle powder. Turn Crock Pot to Low (NOT Warm, if yours has that option).
  5. About an hour before serving, Mix corn starch with ¼ c. cold water until smooth and slowly stir into the Base ingredients. It should thicken to a gravy or stew consistency. Cook chili until carrots are tender and Base is thickened.
Tenderloin prep:
Marinate a 4 lbs pork tenderloin in a solution of ⅓ white vinegar, water, and lemon or lime juice. Enough to cover. Add 4 - 5 Tbs. salt. Optional marinade ingredients would be minced garlic, cilantro, onion, and chili powder. Allow pork to marinate for at least 24 hours.

Remove pork from marinade and allow to dry. Rub your pork in a favorite spicy grill rub, or make your own. Suggestions for a rub would be 2 Tbs. salt, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, dried sage and thyme, garlic powder, etc. AVOID SUGAR IN THE RUB. Store in a refrigerator several hours to a day before smoking.

Over a 200-225 degree indirect heat, use your favorite charcoal and wood (applewood, hickory, etc) to smoke your tenderloin to an internal temp of 145. Remove, wrap in foil, and store until ready to construct the chili.


Smoking the pork tenderloin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: