Slow Cooker Pork and Black Bean Chili

Slow Cooker Pork and Black Bean Chili

When Laura and I were at FASHION Magazine for all those years we lived in a strange fold in time. You always had to be thinking months ahead – because of publishing lead times but also because of the bizarre schedule of the fashion world. You go to the spring fashion shows the previous fall and then spend the next few cold autumn and winter months planning stories that will appear in the warm weather months ahead. You never feel properly in the season you’re living in with all that looking ahead.

So…. working on a blog isn’t like that. Much. Well, maybe a little. We work ahead but not that much. Getting all of our holiday posts together does have me feeling a little behind even though it’s not yet the middle of November! But maybe that’s a good thing. I’m aiming to have all of my Christmas shopping done by the end of this month so that December can just be full of actual fun. The kids are at an age where – if we time it right – we can do family outings with a decent success rate. And maybe – just maybe – they’re both old enough that I can decorate our place a little without fear of toddler death trap/destruction? A girl can dream, can’t she?

Where is this all going? Good question. Oh, yes, the food. We’ve got some really great holiday things coming up: entertaining, baking, gift guides, so much great stuff! But I was thinking that during this busy season you also need some dinners that aren’t all Ho Ho Ho, you know? This is a really good, not-so-typical slow cooker chili that would be great to have waiting for you after a busy day of ice skating, cutting down Christmas trees or caroling (like how I just plunked you down in a greeting card?). As much as I love my slow cooker I still feel odd browning meat while I’m still in my pajamas. The prep on this dish before it goes in the slow cooker is about 20 minutes. That would be hard for me to manage on a weekday but maybe your home is less chaotic? I made this on a busy Saturday recently. The best part was that I forgot about it. We came home late from errands and seeing the red light on the slow cooker blinking hello to us was its own small joy. We had this yummy chili (from Canadian Living) over brown basmati rice and topped with chopped avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt but you could add a bit of salsa, too. 

Slow Cooker Pork and Black Bean Chili


  • 3/4 cup bacon, chopped into inch-length pieces
  • 500 gram pork loin, cubed
  • Glug of vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 x 19 ounce cans of beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of strained canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup water


In a large skillet, brown the bacon for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Use that time to chop your vegetables.

Once the bacon is starting to crisp remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a plate with a paper towel.

If there's much fat in the pan, discard all but slick of it.

In small-ish batches, brown the pork.

If you put too much in the pan it will end up simmering rather than browning. Put the bacon and the pork into the slow cooker.

You're going to cook all of your veggies in the same pan.

Only add that bit of oil if the pan seems too dry.

Toss all of the vegetables in together over medium heat.

Sprinkle cumin over the vegetables and give it a good stir.

They're just going to soften and pick up the great taste of the meat - so about 10 minutes.

While that's doing its thing, you can open your beans and give them a good rinse.

Put everything in the slow cooker - veggies, tomatoes, beans and water - and give it a quick stir.

Seal that baby up and set it to 6 to 8 hours on low. I set it to 6 as it stays quite warm in there even when it's done.


Now go about your business as the slow cooker makes dinner!

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  1. Chris
    February 20, 13:35 Reply

    Call me Mr Old Fashioned but I do think that a chili, however cooked, ought to have some chili in it.

    Come on, get it together!

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