Recipes / pork

The ULTIMATE One Pot Chili

The ULTIMATE One Pot Chili

This amazing chili recipe was ‘inspired by’ Alex Guarnaschelli’s cookbook, Cook With Me (a wonderful Christmas present this year).  Of course, me being me, I’ve changed it up a bit.  My wife doesn’t like bell peppers or chunky tomatoes and I like more than 1 kind of meat.  So that all got switched up. And, Of Course I had to add some Flaming Fruit Sauce and Cayenne.  It just needed it!    This recipe makes at least a dozen servings, so feel free to cut it in half if you like.  I sent some to neighbors and friends and froze some. Once upon a non-Covid time it would have been a big dinner party. But, I love having yumminess in the freezer!!


2 lbs ground chuck (80% lean)

1 lb pork shoulder, cut into ½” pieces

1 lb beef stew meat (we used sirloin tips) cut into ½” pieces

2 large sweet onions (1 ½ chopped, for chili, ½ minced, for topping)

2 pablano peppers, chopped (seeded)

3 jalapenos, chopped (I seeded, feel free to leave them if you like)

5 Tbs vegetable oil

16 cloves garlic, minced

6 Tbs tomato paste

4 Bay leaves

5 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp cayenne pepper powder

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ Cup Jessi’s Flaming Fruit Sauce – Ghost Pepper Extra Hot

2 tsp ground cumin

4 Tbs apple cider vinegar

2 24 oz containers of strained tomatoes

5 15oz cans of black beans, drained (I used a #10 tin)

Sea salt and white pepper, to season


Shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Lime to squeeze

Sliced avocado

Minced onion (from above)

Sour Cream

Sliced fresh or pickled jalapenos

Tortilla chips

Meat:   I do this as a one pot meal, so I do all my prep in a large, heavy bottom soup pot.  You can do all the browning in a large saute pan if you like.  In order to avoid boiling/steaming the meat, you’ll have to do it in 1lb batches over medium high heat.  Brown the ground beef and move to a sheet pan to cool, then add 1 Tbs of oil and add the pork to brown and remove. Repeat with the steak.  Season each layer with sea salt and white pepper.  At this point, you’ll start to notice brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pot.  This is GOOD.  This is FLAVOR.

Vegetables: To the same pan, add 3 Tbs vegetable oil, onions, peppers, garlic, sea salt and white pepper (to season). Saute 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until onions start to brown.  Then add tomato paste, cayenne, coriander, cumin, chili flakes, chili powder, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

Chili: This is where I really differ from the amazing Alex Guarnaschelli – she uses a slow cooker, feel free to do that.  I make it as a one pot meal. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, vinegar and 4 cups of water and stir to deglaze the fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the pot. Add meat back to pot. Cover and set to a low heat.  Cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add drained black beans and cook another 2 hours, uncovered.

Serve up however you like, over rice, potatoes, as chili mac, etc. Yesterday I had someone tell me in the Midwest they eat it with peanut butter sandwiches.  Don’t ask me.  I love it with lime, onion, avocado, cheese, jalapenos, and tortilla chips.

Let me know if you like it!!!

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Sweet & Spicy Meatballs (can be Vegan!)

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs (can be Vegan!)

This recipe can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by switching the type of meatballs!!

2 lbs of cooked meatballs (your favorite meat or meat-less variety, or homemade)

1 Cup of Peach-Apricot Sauce  (you could easily use the Mango-Pineapple or Blueberry-Ginger for this recipe as well)

1 Cup of Orange Marmalade

1/2 Cup of Dried Cranberries

1/4 to 1/2 Cup of Water

Peach-Apricot Meatballs


In our house, we use a fresh turkey meatball, but whatever variety or recipe you prefer works fine.  Put all ingredients into a small crockpot except the water.  Check in an hour to see if the water is needed to compensate for the moisture used by the cranberries, add if needed.

Serve with toothpicks as a pass-around appetizer, or over rice with some glazed carrots on the side (see our recipe)!  This was a HUGE hit for our New Year's Eve Party!

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3 ingredient Mango Pulled Pork

3 ingredient Mango Pulled Pork

3 to 4 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed

8 oz Jessi's Flaming Fruit Sauce Mango-Pineapple

1 quart Chicken Stock (or ham stock)

Trim most of the fat and silver skin off the pork shoulder.  Add pork, Jessi's Flaming Fruit Sauce and stock to crockpot and cook 8 to 10 hours.  

Pull the pork out and let rest until cool enough to handle.  Pull apart and discard any remaining fat.  Add a few Tbs of additional Mango-Pineapple sauce and use in any of the following way, or create your own!!

Pulled Pork sandwich with slaw

Pulled Pork stuffed baked potatoes

Pulled Pork over egg noodles or steamed and herbed potatoes

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Flaming Fruit Sauce Glazed Ham

Flaming Fruit Sauce Glazed Ham

1 Ham (Bone in whole, or spiral sliced)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Jessi's Flaming Fruit Sauce Orange-Cranberry, Blueberry-Ginger, Apricot or Mango-Pineapple


Heat brown sugar and sauce in a small pot until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

Pre-heat oven and cook per the instructions on the ham package.  Prior to putting in the oven, cover thoroughly with the glaze.  

If you use the Mango-Pineapple, consider covering the ham with pineapple slices.  The one pictured below was done with Orange-Cranberry and it was DELICIOUS.

Before and after pics


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Stuffed Pork Chops with Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Stuffed Pork Chops with Orange-Cranberry Sauce

4 Center cut pork chops, approximately 1 ½ inches thick, fat trimmed
2 Granny Smith apples, diced
1 Large onion, diced
¼ Cup Brown sugar
Jessi’s Flaming Fruit Sauce Orange-Cranberry
1 Cup Apple Juice
¼ Cup Sea Salt, or Kosher Salt
1 tsp white pepper

Dissolve salt into a ½ cup of water, heating in a small pan or microwave safe bowl.  Mix dissolved salt-water and pepper into apple juice.  Once cooled, place brine into quart sized sandwich bag along with the trimmed pork chops.  Let sit in brine at least overnight.  I have let them sit up to 3 days and the longer they brine, the better they taste.  Before cooking, take out of brine and pat pork chops dry.

In a non-stick pan, saute` apples and onions in butter and brown sugar until onions are clear and soft.  Here is where you can get fancy with it.  I take a sharp knife and cut a pocket into the pork chops, then stuff them with the cooled apples and onions.  I also set some of the apples and onions aside, to serve on top of the chops.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Season the stuffed chops with salt and pepper, then sear off at high heat in a cast iron pan or on a grill.  I use a mix of butter and oil for searing.  Transfer to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake approximately 30 minutes, until internal temp reaches 160 degrees.  Pork should be just barely pink.

Top with remaining apples/onions and a large spoonful of Orange-Cranberry Sauce.  I usually serve with caramelized spinach (saute` spinach down with butter, a pinch of sea salt and a little brown sugar until all the liquid is reduced).

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Braised Pork (or Lamb or Pot Roast) with Red Wine

Braised Pork (or Lamb or Pot Roast) with Red Wine

3 – 4 lbs of pork shoulder (or boneless leg of lamb, or pot roast)
2 C carrots, large dice
2 – 4 parsnips, large dice
1 pint mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, large dice
1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
½ - 1 C Jessi’s Flaming Fruit Sauce Blueberry-Ginger or Original 'Everything' Sauce
1 quart chicken or ham stock
1 Tbs Thyme, fresh if possible
1-2 tsp white pepper
Sea salt, to taste

There are two ways to make this dish.  If you are strapped for time, just throw everything into a large crock pot and set to cook for 8 or 10 hours.  Use the stock just to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the pork, lamb or beef and all the vegetables.  These measurements are for a large crockpot.

If you have the time in the morning, sear the meat off in a large cast iron pan (or one that can take a high heat sear).  Use a little oil/butter mix in the pan and sear the meat until it starts to form a brown crust.  Be sure to season with S & P first.  Pour the wine and Blueberry-Ginger or Original sauce into the crockpot and stir.   Then throw everything together in the crock pot. Top off with stock and let cook for 8 – 10 hours.  

Pull out meat and slice or shred.  Serve meat and veggies over boiled or steamed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles.   The photo attached is of just the pork by itself, which makes an excellent leftover sandwhich!!

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