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Go Behind the Food Truck: A Recipe for Spanish Pork Shoulder Chili

by Kim and Phil Shen

Where to get the best chili on wheels in LA. All photos courtesy of Behind the Food Carts.

We're celebrating moveable feasts, and who better to turn to than the folks from Behind the Food Carts, one of Fathom's 24 Best Travel Blogs and Websites 2015? Kim and Phil Shen have spent the past five years scoping out local street food scenes all over the world and just published a cookbook from their favorite food trucks across the USA. They share a mouthwatering recipe for your next kitchen adventure.

LOS ANGELES – One of the things we love about food trucks is the emphasis on doing one thing and doing it well. Alex Kavallierou of The Chili Philosopher came to this same conclusion when considering opening up his own food truck in Los Angeles. "You can have one item, serve one thing from a food truck, and that's okay." Alex's one item is chili — that spicy, simmering, meat and bean stew. Alex uses pork shoulder, Spanish chorizo (not to be confused with Mexican chorizo), and white beans for a Spanish fabada-inspired dish.

Before and After


Serves four to six


2 tsp. (9 g.) corn oil
1 1/2 lb. (680 g.) pork shoulder, cut into 1½" (3.8cm) pieces
5 1/2 oz. (156 g.) dry-cured Spanish chorizo
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper or red Anaheim pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 tsp. (4 g.) paprika (Spanish or Hungarian)
1 tbsp. (12 g.) sugar
1 750 ml. bottle white wine or cider
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 oz., or 392 g.) can Great Northern beans or cannelloni beans, drained
Salt and black pepper to taste
White vinegar to taste
2 to 3 tbsp. (5 to 8 g.) chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Brown the pork shoulder, 5 minutes on each side, and set aside. In the same pot, fry the Spanish chorizo until it starts to brown and the oil turns a light orange. Set aside the chorizo with the pork.

2. Turn down the heat to medium-high. Cook the onion and pepper in the pot until they turn translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the paprika, sugar, and wine. Simmer for 20 minutes until the wine has reduced by a third.

3. Add the red pepper flakes, pork, chorizo, and garlic. Add water to cover. Put the lid on and cook for about 30 minutes.

4. Add the beans and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the pork is tender. Do not overcook to where the pork disintegrates. Add the salt, pepper, and white vinegar to taste.

5. Garnish each serving liberally with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Food Truck Road Trip cookbook


Food Truck Road Trip: A Cookbook features more than 100 authentic recipes, stories, and photos from 63 amazing street food vendors in twelve cities across the country. From American comfort foods to Asian and Latin American dishes, to vegetarian meals, and even homemade dessert pops: There's something for everyone.

This recipe is excerpted from Food Truck Road Trip: A Cookbook by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, and Terri Phillips. It is printed with permission of Page St. Publishing.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.