Comfort Food

It's starting to get pretty chilly up here in Pittsburgh and winter is quickly approaching. At our house, that means it's time for some tasty comfort food to remind us of good ole' Texas.

Southwest Chili 
{From Real Simple}

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute.
4. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
5. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.
6. Scoop chili into bowls and top with cheddar cheese. Serve with cornbread, obviously. Makes 6 servings.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup barbecue sauce
6 hamburger buns

1. Place the pork in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Rub with the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4  teaspoon pepper. Add the vinegar and 1/2 cup water. 
2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and shreds easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. 
3. Before serving, transfer the pork to a bowl, discarding the liquid. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Mix in the barbecue sauce. Serve the pork on hamburger buns. Makes six sandwiches.