Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pozole (to be sung to the tune of "Volare")

I know, I know, you're thinking: "Man, I've been nixtamalizing corn all summer and fall, what am I going to do with all this hominy? Everyone I know is so sick of grits." I've got one word for you...


Traditional Mexican pork, hominy and chile stew. The pre-conquistador Aztec version used fresh human meat. Spanish priests switched it to pork because it apparently tastes very similar. You may want to leave that detail out until after everybody eats.

Here's a recipe I lifted and adapted from this random guy on the internet. His version seemed too heavy on the hominy for my taste. I do agree that the Hatch green chiles are the way to go here. They are hard to find, but worth it if you can get 'em. This is super easy to make. Sorry for the lack of pictures to prove it.

2-29 oz. cans white hominy
4-5 pounds pork tenderloin (cut into small chunks)
1 large yellow onion (finely chopped)
16 oz. green chiles, heat level at your discretion - NOTE: Don't sub jalapenos! Trust me.
1 tablespoon minced/chopped/pressed garlic
2 oz. menudo spice mix or chili powder
1 teaspoon dry oregano
salt (lots)
pepper (lots)
olive oil

In a large stock pot (the ingredients above will yield about 6 quarts) combine the hominy, chopped onions, garlic, oregano and green chile. Cover the ingredients with water, then add a little more. Add a lot of salt and pepper. I mean, A LOT. Put in what you think is too much, then add some more; it'll need it. Boil the mixture while you prepare the meat.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and brown the pork slowly. It doesn't have to be cooked entirely through, just sear the outside. Add a reasonable amount of salt and pepper here. You may have to do this in batches: 4-5 pounds of pork cubes don't conveniently fit in one frying pan.

Once the pork is browned, stir it into the stock pot with the other ingredients. Once it starts boiling again, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Stir, then bring to a boil again. Reduce heat, stir and allow this to simmer for about six hours, stirring about every 30 minutes to keep the bottom from burning. About half way through, add salt and pepper to taste.

For best results, ladle the finished pozole into smaller containers and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat and serve with grated cheese and yellow corn tortillas/tortilla chips.


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