Pozole Rojo

Back in November Matt and I were pleasantly surprised when we made Pozole Verde, a Mexican-style pork stew with cilantro, tomatillos and jalapeños.  The Verde recipe appeared as a riff on the chili-based Pozole Rojo in our The New Best Recipe cookbook so we immediately vowed to make the Rojo as soon as we got the chance.  Well, that chance came yesterday afternoon and the resulting “red” stew with pork, hominy and ancho chilis was wonderful!

This hearty stew is warm, flavorful, and perfect for a cold winter evening.  It’s fairly healthy and you can top it with a wide variety of bright, crisp garnishes including cilantro, avocado, radishes, onion, and, Matt’s favorite, quesco fresco.  Yum!

Pozole Rojo 1

Pozole Rojo (Pork and Hominy Stew with Ancho Chilis)
Serves 8-10; from Cook’s Illustrated – The New Best Recipe

Pozole Ingredients…
1 bone-in Pork Picnic Roast or Shoulder Roast, approx. 4-5 lbs.
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
2 White Onions, coarsely chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced
6 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 15oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
3 dried Ancho Chilis (2 oz.), stems and seeds removed
1 1/2 cups Boiling Water
3-15 oz. cans Hominy, drained and rinsed

Garnishes…
1/4 cup Pureed Ancho Chilis (prepared with stew)
1/2 White Onion, finely chopped
1 Avocado, sliced
Cilantro, coarsely chopped
6 Radishes, thinly sliced
1 Lime, sliced into wedges
Mexican Oregano
Quesco Fresco, crumbled
8-10 Corn Tortillas, warmed and sliced into strips
Tortilla Chips

Pozole Rojo with Queso Fresco, Cilantro, and Pureed Ancho Chilis

Directions:
Trim excess fat off of the pork roast and cut along the muscle into several large pieces (approx. 8-9 pieces for a 4 lb. roast). Reserve the bones. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large (8 qt.) oven-proof dutch oven over medium heat. Add the  onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 4 minutes until the onions have softened and released moisture. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the pork and bones to the onion mixture and stir frequently for approximately 8 minutes until the outside of the meat is no longer pink. Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, oregano and another 1/2 teaspoon salt and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove, then cover and cook in a preheated 300°F oven for 2 hours.

Pozole Rojo in the pot

Meanwhile, soak the ancho chilis in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water for 20 minutes.  (I microwaved the water in a pyrex measuring cup and soaked the chilis in the cup — no need to keep the water boiling for 20 minutes.)  Transfer the chilis and soaking liquid to a blender and puree.  Pour the blended chilis through a strainer; you should end up with about one cup of puree.

After 2 hours, remove the pork mixture from the oven and return to the stove. Remove the pork and bones and place on a plate to cool. Stir the rinsed hominy and 3/4 cup of the pureed chilis into the broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Once the pork is cool, shred the pork with your fingers (or with two forks). Pull any remaining meat off of the bones and discard the bones. Stir the shredded meat into the stew and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the meat is hot. Serve in a large bowl with a liberal helping of the garnishes on top.

Pozole Rojo with Queso Fresco, Cilantro, and Pureed Ancho Chilis

Pozole Verde

After (finally!) finishing our Thanksgiving leftovers Matt and I decided that we wanted to make a meal that featured tons of flavor, fresh veggies, and oh… NOT turkey! 🙂 We pulled out our trusty The New Best Recipe cookbook and found Pozole waiting for us in the stews chapter. Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup made with shredded pork and hominy (a type of corn) and it is DELICIOUS! We enjoyed our Pozole for dinner on Sunday and then happily ate it for lunch the next four days (and I’m still not tired of it!).

There are different types of Pozole including Rojo (made with chiles) and Blanco (made without any added sauces). This recipe is for Pozole Verde which includes a liberal amount of blended tomatillos, jalapeños, and cilantro. Make sure not to skimp on the garnishes – although Matt preferred the Pozole without any added flavors, I really enjoyed the freshness that the chopped onion, avocado, radish and tomato added to the finished dish!

Pozole Verde

Pozole Verde (Pork and Hominy Stew with Tomatillos, Cilantro and Jalapeño)
Serves 8-10; from Cook’s Illustrated – The New Best Recipe

Pozole Ingredients…
1 bone-in Pork Picnic Roast or Shoulder Roast, about 4-5 lbs.
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
2 1/2 White Onions; 2 coarsely chopped, 1/2 quartered
5 cloves Garlic, minced
6 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 pound Tomatillos, husked and quartered
3 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 cup Water
2 bunches (5 cups) Cilantro Leaves and Stems (thin parts)
3-15 oz. cans White or Yellow Hominy, drained and rinsed

Garnishes…
1/2 White Onion, finely chopped
1 Avocado, sliced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, finely chopped
6 Radishes, thinly sliced
1 Lime, sliced into wedges
8-10 Corn Tortillas, warmed and sliced into quarters or strips
1-2 Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
Tortilla Chips

Garnishes on Pozole Verde

Directions:
Trim excess fat off of the pork roast and cut along the muscle into several large pieces (approx. 8-9 pieces for a 4 lb. roast). Reserve the bones. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large (8 qt.) oven-proof dutch oven over medium heat. Add the 2 coarsely chopped onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 4 minutes until the onions have softened and released moisture. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the pork and bones to the onion mixture and stir frequently for approximately 8 minutes until the outside of the meat is no longer pink. Add the chicken broth and another 1/2 teaspoon salt and increase the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove, then cover and cook in a preheated 300°F oven for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, place the tomatillos, jalapeños, water, and the quartered 1/2 onion in a blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for another 2 minutes. Set this brilliant green mixture aside.

Pozole Verde with Pork and White Hominy (pre-garnishes)

Pozole Verde with Pork and White Hominy (before we added garnishes)

After 2 hours, remove the dutch oven from the oven and return to the stove. Remove the pork and bones and place on a plate to cool. Stir the rinsed hominy into the broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Once the pork is cool, shred the pork with your fingers (or with two forks). Pull any remaining meat off of the bones and discard the bones. Stir the shredded meat and the green tomatillo mixture into the stew and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the meat is hot. Serve in a large bowl with a liberal helping of the garnishes on top.

350 Pozole Verde

Liked this Pozole Verde recipe?  You may also enjoy my post on Pozole Rojo!

The Perfect Storm Food – Five Bean Chili!

It’s October in Pennsylvania which means that leaves are changing color, geese are flying south, pumpkins are being carved into jack o’lanterns, and we’re filling up the bathtub with water in preparation for a hurricane.  Wait, what??  That’s right, we’re about to receive a direct hit from a real live hurricane in October!

The storm, billed as Hurricane Sandy, “FrankenStorm,” and, most dramatically, “The Perfect Storm,” is forecasted to take a sharp left turn in the Atlantic Ocean and sweep up the Delaware Bay tomorrow.  If the Weather Channel is correct, we’ll experience 6-10 inches of rain, hurricane-force winds, and extended power outages.  That brings me back to the bathtub.  Since our water is pumped into the house from our well, we lose our running water when the power goes out.  That tub full of water will allow us to flush the toilet and have clean water available for washing hands and faces.  For drinking water, I filled up several pitchers and glass bottles with water from the kitchen sink.  (I didn’t want to join the mobs at the grocery store for “real” bottled water!)

That little yellow star is where we are. Eek!

I’m mildly worried about the 70mph winds and rushing floodwaters, but I think that right now my biggest concern is actually that the food in our freezer might go bad.  We have about $50 worth of wonderful fresh Maiale sausage along with yummy frozen pastas, vegetables, and fish and I am having nightmares about it all thawing out and going bad during a long power outage.  In order to give the freezer a fighting chance I reorganized all of the food so it is tightly packed together in the bottom drawer.  I also put ice packs in the freezer along with a big ziploc bag full of water and a reused gallon jug filled with water.  These are all frozen solid now and should help to keep our food cold.  (Watch, after all of the preparation the power isn’t even going to go out… but better to be safe than sorry!)

Anyway, all of this stormy and cold weather has me thinking about warm stews and soups!  A nice five bean chili would really hit the spot right now, but we are going to try to use up some food in our fridge tonight so I think I’m going to have to wait until after the storm to get my chili fix.  But, without further ado, here’s my chili recipe along with some photos from our last batch a few weeks ago…

Five Bean Chili (serves 5-7 and makes great leftovers!)
Note: I revised this recipe on 10/29/14.  The original recipe had chick peas (visible in the photos) which were yummy but in my most recent batch of chili I removed the chick peas and added a third can of kidney beans and second can of tomatoes with delicious results.  I also added fresh minced garlic, upped the ground beef from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, and adjusted a few of the spice measurements.  Oh, and I added another half bottle of beer to give the chili a little more liquid consistency… feel free to drink the remaining beer as you cook!

You will need…
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
1 White Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
1-15oz. can Pinto Beans, rinsed & drained
1-15oz. can Black Beans, rinsed & drained
3-15oz. can Kidney Beans, rinsed & drained
1-15oz. can Corn, drained; or 1 cup frozen corn, rinsed
2-10oz. can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (not drained)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
18 oz. (1 1/2 bottles) Dark Beer

Directions…
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the ground beef.  When it is almost browned, add the onion and stir.  Once the onion has started to soften add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the powdered ingredients and then, when the meat is completely browned, add the beans, corn, and tomatoes and stir.  Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes, taste the chili and add salt and pepper as needed.  (You can also add more chili powder and paprika at this point if you want more of a kick.)  Add the beer, stir again, cover, and allow the chili to cook over low heat for 60-90 minutes.  Serve with a generous slice of fresh cornbread.