Sunday, January 15, 2012

Easy Crock Pot Pozole

Pork and hominy stew. As I like to call it a hot pork salad.

Nothing is as beautiful on your table as the fixings for an authentic Mexican dish. The condiments alone provide the colors of a warm summer day; red radishes cut so the center looks like a flower, bright green cilantro, the baby grass yellow/green of a ripe avocado, my palette is about to be transported to a better place than this cold cold Michigan winter that finally settled upon us.

I have not had this dish in so long mostly because I refuse to eat pork that was not raised humanely. Well watch out omnivores, I'm back! (well, 10% of the time anyway) I have a freezer stocked with the most delicious pork this earth can provide: my mothers pampered and spoiled Duroc/Hampshire hogs fed a steady diet of pineapple, cantaloupe, apples, acorns and tomatoes. You are what you eat, and in this case these hogs are a sweet, luscious, fat layered goodness most will only ever imagine. Anyway, I have this pork now and I can make pork dishes without as much guilt. That was my point.

Pozole is a word not often heard in southern Michigan, and that's a damn shame. This stuff is so easy and good. I'll give you the recipe for how I made mine and I'm sure those who are lucky enough to have a recipe passed down from generations would beg to differ, but its such a simple recipe you can add in your own pieces of flair as you like. It's pretty much broth, hominy and pork. And you top it as you like.

This pan looks better than my crock pot, so I put it in
this one to serve it. LOVE the enameled dutch oven.
So, my parents were coming into town and I wanted to make something special and different and my mind has had the hamsters running full time to power all the brain cells that have been drooling over the craving for Pozole lately. Perfect. I un-thawed a shoulder roast about the size of both of my fists put together kinda like I was playing 'here is the church and here is the steeple, open the door to see all the people' - do this away from others, your sanity may be questioned. We had an Ann Arbor day planned so I put the roast in the crock pot with a large can of hominy, I used Juanitas Hominy because their hominy isn't bleached and they don't add sulfites, added 2 bay leaves, a few loosely chopped garlic cloves and about a quart of chicken broth and a quart of water, just enough to make sure the entire roast is covered. My broth had salt and pepper in it, if yours doesn't you should consider adding some. Crock pot turned on high and we were off for the day.

Six hours later we were back and I considered the Pozole done. No one was really hungry because we stopped at Zingerman's Roadhouse for lunch, but I was force feeding them anyway because I made this great dinner and they were going to eat it dammit. I set the table with sliced radishes, shredded white cabbage, chopped cilantro, avocado chunks, lime wedges, sour cream, hot sauce, yellow corn tortillas warmed in the pan and tortilla chips. No cheese. This is not a cheese dish. I actually refused to put it on the table when it was requested. Not all Mexican food is smothered in cheese.

A well seasoned cast iron always
works best for warming tortillas
I served each bowl with a small piece of pork, a ladle of hominy and a enough broth to make it all float around. Each person was to top their Pozole with whatever condiments they chose, but the lime was required. Pozole isn't Pozole in my mind if you didn't squeeze lime on it. Everyone at the table was skeptical and they didn't have to say it for me to see it in their eyes. This meal was being forced upon them and they had no other options. Don't fight it people, you'll thank me later.

And thank me they did. Everyone had at least two servings, and the second helping wasn't even being forced. My mom couldn't believe how light the meal felt with the citrus of the lime and fresh taste of cilantro, yet filling at the same time. The skepticism in their eyes soon turned to satisfaction. The husband even had leftovers later it was so damn good. You're welcome.

Easy crock pot pozole - apparently with camera string soaking up juices

Ingredients list and a brief how-to:
  • small pork shoulder roast
  • large can of hominy
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-3 bay leaves
Combine all of these ingredients into either a crock pot or stock pot. Cook until pork is very tender. Serve in soup bowls with any/all of the following condiments - but lime is required and traditionally so is shredded white cabbage and cilantro.
  • lime wedges
  • chopped cilantro
  • sliced radishes
  • sour cream or Mexican crema
  • avocado
  • diced white onion
  • diced tomatos
  • jalapenos 
  • hot sauce
  • corn tortillas
  • tortilla chips
No cheese.

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MJ said...
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