December 8, 2007

Pozole - A Rich Mexican Soup

About 12 years ago, a friend of mine who was born in Mexico and raised in Texas made me lunch. It was a rainy, winter day and she made Pozole, a dish that she grew up on, nothing special, just something to warm us on a cold, blustery day. Well, to me it was very special! Its rich, aromatic flavor left quite an impression. I knew that someday I would encounter this amazing dish once again...

I never did.
So finally, after all these years, I decided to make it myself.

The last time I was in the States I brought back some pozole, which are big, fat kernels of dried hominy that have been soaked in slaked lime to remove their hull and germ. I also picked up a couple of little cans of roasted, diced green chiles since fresh green chiles are often hard to come by here.

The soup called for both of my State-side purchases in addition to some boneless pork, onions, garlic and spices. Pozole was much simpler to make than I thought it would be, and the flavor was just as wonderful as I remembered!

serves 6

1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 green chiles, roasted, peeled and diced or 1 small can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
1 jalapeno, seeded, and finely diced
2 tablespoons oil or lard
2 cups dried hominy
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 cups chicken stock

Soak dried hominy in lightly salted water overnight.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Sauté the onions and garlic for about two minutes then add the meat to the pan and stir it around for another minute.
Add enough water to cover the meat with a least 2 inches and stir in the soaked and drained hominy, the salt, cumin, oregano, cloves, jalapeno and chiles.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the meat from the liquid. Remove excess fat and shred the meat into small pieces. Set aside.
Add chicken stock to replace liquid, if necessary. You'll want a brothy consistency.
Simmer for an additional hour.
Add the pork and simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until hominy is thoroughly cooked.
Salt to taste.

Traditionally Pozole is accompanied by slices of radish, lemons or limes, sliced onions and chopped lettuce. I added some sliced carrots and sliced chiles.

Now the question is, can I find more hominy in France? Anyone know?

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