This could very easily have been a vegan recipe. All I would have had to do was replace the bacon grease with oil, and the beef stock with vegetable stock. But, as I often do, I used what I had on hand.
I have had recipes with jackfruit before, and I know it can be made to do a very good impersonation of pork with the proper seasoning. But, it’s a stretch to claim that it is indistinguishable from meat. The jackfruit I bought was ripe, and so it had some sweetness to it. This made the chili a little bit sweeter than I would normally prefer. And, it didn't shred like pork would have, and it was softer than pork would be. I also prepared it differently than what I usually do with meat in a chili recipe (where I would have browned the meat, set it aside, and added it later).
But, it was still tasty. I am open to suggestions of how to use the jackfruit. I know that there are differences between green and yellow jackfruit.
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon bacon grease or vegetable oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, diced
21 ounces yellow Jackfruit
1 serrano pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups beef or vegetable stock
1 ear of corn, cooked
31 ounces canned pinto beans
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt, adjusted to taste
1. Raise a large pot to medium heat. Add cumin seeds and heat for about a minute, moving constantly to prevent burning. Remove from pan, grind to a powder, and set aside.
2. Add bacon grease or oil to the pot. Add onion sauté for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and sauté while stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add garlic and peppers, stirring continuously, for about a minute.
3. Fold in spices and allow to cook for 1 more minute. Stir in jackfruit. Heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and heat until jackfruit is softened.
NOTE: If I didn't care about scratching my teflon pot, I would have shredded the jackfruit in the pot.
4. Remove jackfruit with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Shred with forks until cut into strips.
5. Return the contents of the bowl to the pot. Cut corn from the cob. Add corn, beans, and tomatoes. Heat with the top off until thickened to the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.