Baby, it’s actually cold outside! You know what that means…it is time for a something warm and totally satisfying.  A tradition around these parts, as I am sure it is in many others, is a warm bowl of Menudo.  Some, though prefer Pozole, which is basically the same thing with one difference…well, that I am aware of anyway. What is that difference? Menudo is traditionally made with pansita, or tripe, whereas Pozole calls for meaty meat itself.  Both have hominy.  Both are cooked in a similar way for the most part.  Both call for fresh made corn tortillas and lemon 🙂 Sometimes Pozole is cooked and served with a clear broth (which is just wrong strange) and Menudo is a red broth.  There are some pretty die-hard Menudo fans out there, and I don’t just mean the band 😉  Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love Menudo but sometimes, the pansita grosses me out.  You know what I’m talking about. There are some pieces that just don’t make the cut for me and I scoot those aside if not cast them out of my bowl altogether.  I want the meaty pansita pieces. For that reason, I decided to give Pozole a shot…and let me tell you, it was given all thumbs up in this house!  One of the things I love to do with these types of comfort foods is roast the garlic, if garlic is called for.  This is super duper easy and adds loads of flavor.  Definitely a game changer!
 

The way I roast garlic is in the notes section of the recipe.  Let me tell you, your kitchen will smell uh-mazing!! Unless you hate garlic, then nevermind.  But seriously, this roasted garlic mixed into mashed potatoes is like – Whoa!  I don’t think I want to make boring ole mashed potatoes ever again 🙂  To save time, I do it a day or so in advance and then just store in the fridge until I need it.  I bought a container of bay leaves to keep on hand and I noticed that the sizes of each leaf varies in the container so I have to adjust as needed. For example, I like to use a large bay leaf in my stews and soups because they add so much flavor but when that’s not an option – because the bay leaf people fail to put them in the bottle 😉 – then I will use two smaller ones.  Bay Leaves should always…always…be removed from the dish before serving because they are no fun to eat/chew and would probably hurt swallowing, as they are dry and hard. So, always remove them.
 

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I tend to confuse Corriander seeds with peppercorns for some reason.  They are two completely different spices, but look similar so always be careful to grab the correct one before you add it to your recipe.  It can – and will – change what you are making! Corriander is actually Cilantro in dried seed form. To toast it, I heat up a small pan and add the seeds to it.  Stir frequently and within a matter of minutes, you will notice a nice aroma coming from them. That is when they are ready. See! Nothing to it…well aside from keeping an eye on them so as to avoid burning them 😉 (between you and I, some of these little suckers “tanned” a bit longer than they should’ve but I still used them :0)

Toppings are optional and vary greatly depending on preference. In the picture above, you will see lemon, cilantro and queso fresco.  I listed other options in the notes section of the recipe so feel free to use whatever you like.  I know things and traditions vary from area to area and if there is something specific you like to add, give me a heads up.  I would love to try it out too 🙂

Posole, Pozole – Still A Great Dish!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Pork Butt, cut into large chunks*
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, peeled and cracked open
  • 1 Large Bay Leaf
  • 1 tbsp Corriander Seeds, toasted**
  • 2 Pork Bullion Cubes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Water to Cover
    For the Chile Puree
  • 2 Chile Ancho, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 Chile Guajillo, stem and seeds removed
  • 3 cups Hot Water
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 3 Fresh Oregano Leaves, chopped
  • 1 bulb Garlic, roasted***
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil, extra virgin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Water (get from soaked chiles)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    For the Soup
  • Cooked Pork
  • Pork Broth (from being cooked)
  • Chile Puree
  • 1 30 oz can Hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 cups Hot Water, if and as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Comino (cumin)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    Toppings
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon
  • Queso Fresco
  • Avacado
  • Tortilla Chips

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, place the chiles - stems and seeds discarded - and pour the hot water over them. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes, or until soft.
  • In a deep stock pot, place pork meat, onion, bay leaves, corriander seeds, garlic cloves, pork bullion cubes, salt and pepper. Add cold water until it is about an inch above all the meat. Stir and cook on medium high heat uncovered, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let cook for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Keep an eye on this and as the water evaporate, add more hot water to the pot but just enough to keep the meat covered an inch over.
  • When the chiles are ready, separate about 1 cup of the water and set aside. Drain chiles and place them in a blender. Add onion, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of the chiles water. Cover blender and pulse a few times then puree. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more of the chile water until you get a smooth free consistency, not too thick but not too thin. Once it is ready, set aside.
  • When the pork meat is done cooking, remove the chunks of meat and set aside on a plate. Place a fine strainer over a large deep heat resistant bowl. Pour the remaining pork stock into the strainer to remove all of the garlic, bay leaves, onion and corriander seeds and discard this mix.
  • Pour the strained pork broth back into the cooking pot. Add the pureed chile sauce and stir to combine. Strain and rinse hominy and add to the pork stock.
  • Carefully cut chunks of pork into small bite-sized pieces (or shred if preferred) and add to pork stock. Stir and if you need to add some liquid to make it soup-ier, this is where you add the hot water. How much you need to add will depend on your preference, so add only what you need to.
  • Add comino. Stir and simmer on medium heat for an additional 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Notes

    *Pork meat - To save time, prepare the meat the day before and store it in the fridge until ready to use. This gives you time to not only cut it into the large chunks but also time to trim off some of the fat ** Roasted Corriander Seeds - Easy. Heat a small pan and place seeds inside. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Once toasted and ready, you will smell a nice aroma from them. That's it, they're ready to go *** Roasted Garlic - Can also be made the day before. It's easy, delicious and better than using raw garlic in my opinion. Here's what you do: Take a garlic bulb and chop the top 1/4 of it off. Tear a piece of foil and place the bulb on it. Drizzle olive oil all over it and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap and seal the garlic with the foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, open foil and let cool for 10 minutes. Either squeeze the cloves out onto the foil it was baked in or pull each clove out using a toothpick or fork if preferred. If making it ahead of time, then wrap it back up in the same foil and place in fridge when cooled. Refer to picture in post.

    http://sweetcoralice.com/pozole-posole-still-a-great-dish/