Pozole is a delicious pork and hominy stew. It’s sort of like a more authentic taco soup. It’s perfect cold weather food, or restorative hangover food. It’s also a great way to use pork shoulder, which is one of my favorite types of meat. Pamela has been in town and we’ve been having a great time cooking together. We roasted a chicken and made some gravy and chicken stock (in lieu of a FFoB stock post, here is a much better one from the excellent Michael Ruhlman).
Anyway, pozole. We made this on New Years Day, and honestly, I didn’t take any good pictures of the cooking process. But believe me when I say that this is easy. It follows a pretty common pattern for stews and other braised things:
- heat some oil in a pot until really hotsear some chunks of inexpensive, fatty, slow-cooking meat until they’re browned but not cooked through, then remove
- cook some aromatic vegetables in the meaty fat
- put the meat back in the pot with flavorful liquid
- cook the crap out of it over low heat or in a low oven
So, here you go! Pozole! Although not at all traditional, we serve this with Fritos scoops. You can use tortilla chips, warmed corn tortillas, or decide that you don’t need any corn-on-corn action in this hominy stew, in which case you should really stop reading this and just go back to your sad, carb-less life.
serves 6 (easily doubled)
adapted from Dad Cooks Dinner
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, in any form (this is sometimes labelled “Boston Butt”, “Pork Shoulder Blade Roast”, or “western ribs”. If in doubt, ask the person at the supermarket meat counter)
- 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoons red chile powder (not chili powder – you want ground New Mexico or guajillo chiles. Look in the Hispanic section of the supermarket)
- 1 tablespoon pureed chipotle en adobo, or 1 canned chipotle chile, minced, or 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chiles
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 28-ounce cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
Cut your pork shoulder into 1 1/2 inch strips and rub with the salt.
Take your largest Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and the pork shoulder. Cook until well-browned, about 4-5 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove the pork to a plate and return the pot to medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the garlic, chile powder, chipotle chiles, spices, and flour. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the garlic is fragrant. Return the pork to the pot and add the chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cover tightly.
Cook the stew over low heat for about 2 hours. You can either do this on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, or you can put it in a 350-degree oven.
After two hours, the pork should be very tender. Remove it form the pot and let it cool for a few minutes, then shred it and return it to the stew. Taste for seasoning – you may need a little more salt. Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos Scoops and lots of lime wedges.