Sometimes my recipes are created out of necessity, as in this case. I bought a 4 lb pork loin that I thought would be great for my hubby to smoke. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no clue as to the fine art of barbecuing, grilling and smoking. He mentioned that this cut might dry out but went ahead and brined and smoked, spending all day tending to our main course for the evening. And lo and behold, he was right. It was far from tender and juicy and instead almost inedible.
I come from a long line of thrifty cooks, so wasn’t going to throw away the whole loin and thought long and hard hard to bring moisture back to the protein. (Although, I did pick this up from our local Grocery Outlet for a bargain price!) I knew I needed to simmer it in a liquid and with fall just beginning, our evenings have been getting cooler so a soup came to mind.
Pozole in general is easy to make as I usually combine canned ingredients with fresh. I decided to up my game and made my own verde sauce, which added a bit of time but resulted in such a bright, vibrant taste that I’ll use this method from now on. It does require a good 2 – 3 hours of simmering, though, if your meat is already cooked (and dry) like mine was. If you use fresh pork, you can simply brown and reduce the simmer time to 60 minutes after adding all ingredients.
Variations: You can leave in the seeds in the peppers if you want it spicy. I did not and hubby added hot sauce to his meal. I liked mine just as it was. You can go crazy with topping offerings … diced avocado and onion, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, lime quarters, sour cream and cheese, for example … or serve it just as it is. The pic above shows just a dollop of sour cream, but I love to use about triple that amount and stir it into the pozole for a creamy soup.
- Olive or vegetable oil
- 1 poblano pepper (some stores will feature these as pasillas)
- 1 anaheim pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 3/4 cup diced white onion (divided in to 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic (2 left whole and 4 diced)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 28 ounce can of tomatillos (you could do fresh and roast, but I wasn’t in the mood to skin a dozen of these little suckers!)
- 1 lb of cooked pork cut into bite-sized pieces
- 32 ounces chicken broth or stock (1/2 cup reserved)
- 25 ounce can of hominy (drained and rinsed)
- Heat the oven to broil.
- Cut the poblano, anaheim and jalapeno peppers into halves and remove seeds and veins. Coat with a thin layer of oil.
- Roast for approximately 5 minutes (or until they have a nice char), turn and roast the other side.
- Remove the peppers and place in a plastic bag. This will steam them and make the skins easy to peel off.
- In a large Dutch oven, sautee the 1/2 cup diced onion until translucent.
- Add the 4 diced garlic cloves and sautee a few more minutes until fragrant.
- Add the cumin, oregano and stir until combined.
- Add the diced pork and chicken stock (less the 1/2 cup), and cook on medium-high for 5 minutes until bubbling.
- Reduce heat to simmer and add rinsed and drained hominy.
- Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
- The peppers should be cool enough to remove from bag and the skins should easily peel off. (It’s okay to leave a little bit.)
- Chop the peppers into large chunks and place in a blender with the drained tomatillos, 1/4 cup diced onions, 2 cloves of garlic and the 1/2 cup reserved chicken stock. Blend until smooth.
- Add the cilantro and give a another quick blend.
- Add 3 cups of the green mixture to the chicken stock and pork, stirring until fully combined. (If you have leftovers, save to serve as salsa verde with chips.)
- Over medium heat, cook until just bubbly and reduce to simmer.
- Simmer for 60 – 90 minutes, or until the pork is moist.
Serves 4 (or two for dinner plus leftovers for lunch).