Gimli’s New Mexico Red Chili

Hi folks. Just got through mid-terms here at Portland State University and I have a little time to post to this blog, which my parents have been asking me to do for some time now.

Gimli is my gamer name when I role play. Just about all my friends call me Gimli instead of James. Sorry for the confusion but you’re welcome to call me Gimli too. And my friends who see this post will know who I am, without a doubt.

I prepared this chili for a dozen or more of my friends for my 34th birthday up here in Portlandia. The vegetarians got my Huevos Rancheros, which will be a forthcoming recipe I promise.

I have been trying to perfect this chili for a long time. It isn’t perfect but it is getting closer to what I experienced on a trip to New Mexico with my (former) girlfriend.

The raisins are a good substitute for Guajillo chiles, which are not that easy to come by unless you live in CA. If you can find Guajillo, definitely use it instead. The chipotle substitutes for the smokiness and heat of the Guajillo so if you use Guajillo, you might want to cut back a bit on the chipotle in adobo.


Serves: 20
Feel free to scale it down!

Gimli’s New Mexico Red Chili


2 green peppers – seeded and diced
2 medium, onions – diced
4 jalapenos – seeded and diced
vegetable oil
chili powder
salt and pepper
5 pounds, pork shoulder
6 cloves, garlic
2 tablespoons, tomato paste
1 can, chipotle chile canned in adobo – chopped
1 cup, raisins – coarsely chopped
2 small cans, diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup, chicken broth
3 tablespoons, brown sugar
1 cup, brewed coffee
1 lime – juiced
1/4 cup, minute tapioca


  1. Preheat the slow cooker to medium. Dice your veg and butcher the pork shoulder into golf ball sized pieces. (Warning, wash hands before AND after touching your junk when handling peppers.) In a frying pan (preferably cast iron) saute green peppers, onions and jalapenos with oregano, chili powder and salt and pepper in vegetable oil on medium high until translucent. Toss that delicious mess into the slow cooker.
  2. Toss pork pieces with cumin, chili powder (lots, don’t be a wuss) and salt and pepper. Brown the pork pieces on medium high one batch at a time in the hot spicy pan, don’t over-crowd the pan. You want nice brown bits. Add them to the slow cooker as they’re done, nestling them into the veg. This’ll take a while, don’t be afraid to Toss pork pieces with cumin, chili powder (lots, don’t be a wuss) and salt and pepper. Add more oil or adjust the heat a bit.
  3. When that’s all done, you’re going to make the flavor liquid. To the frying pan, add garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add diced adobo chiles with sauce and raisins and cook until it reduces by half. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and coffee. Reduce by a third. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, and lime juice and reduce by a third. Don’t be afraid to stick you finger in this to taste it and adjust the flavors. Pour that deliciousness in the slow cooker and stir it up, make sure all the pork is good and soaked.
  4. Add minute tapioca. Cook for 5 hours on high.
  5. Serve with corn bread or tortillas and you favorite chili accoutrements.

Okay, so this one’s not finished yet but I can smell how good it’s going to be already. When I was in my first Long Term Relationship we took a trip to Taos New Mexico and I remember trying the delicious red chili Tex Mex fusion that the area was famous for. It had deep, complex flavors, slightly sweet, very spicy and with a nice earthy tone. I tried to duplicate that here.


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