Adventures in homemade, budget aware cooking.

Pozole

My friend Hilary eating some real PozoleI have a t-shirt that says “Hecho en Mexico.”  While some Mexicans are pasty white and have ocean blue eyes, I am not one of them, at least not by birth.  Growing up, Tex-Mex Tacos constituted my repertoire of Mexican food.  After a year and a half in Southern California, my culinary and cultural boundaries were blown to pieces.

I loved the traditional sopes, enchiladas, burritos, taquitos, tostadas, arroz con leche, horchata, carne asada, pozole, etc.  I lived those 18 months in bliss, food heaven.  However, when I came home, I was in shock.  I initially tried to survive by dosing everything in Tapatio (Hot Sauce).  Eventually, I realized that I was going to have to learn how to cook authentic Mexican food or suffer for the rest of my life.

A few days ago I found a recipe for Pozole for a crock pot (two of my favourite things! Yipee!)  It was delicious!  The husband’s response says it all: “You should keep that recipe!” Before we get to the recipe part, let me share with you some disgusting history of the soup/ stew Pozole.

Apparently, “pozole was made to be consumed on special events. The conjunction of corn (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars because the ancient Mexicans believed that the gods made humans out of cornmeal dough. According to research by the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, on these special occasions, the meat used in the pozole was human. After the prisoners were killed by having their hearts torn out in a ritual sacrifice, the rest of the body was chopped and cooked with corn. The meal was shared among the whole community as an act of religious communion. After the conquest, when cannibalism was banned, pork became the staple meat, as it “tasted very similar”, according to a Spanish priest.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posole)

While that little tidbit of information might be unappealing, Pozole certainly is not.

Pozole for the Slow Cooker

  • – 2 lbs shoulder chuck pork, fat trimmed, and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 tbsp oil olive
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can oven roasted chilies (7 oz)
  • 2 cans white hominy (15 oz)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high.  Brown meat in portions.  Add to the slow cooker.  Add all ingredients through cumin.  Stir.  Heat on low for 5-6 hours.  Add salt, pepper and cilantro.  Cook for another hour. Laddle soup into bowls.  Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped onions, cilantro, lime wedges and heated corn tortillas.  (Sometimes it is served with radishes too, but I don’t like radishes.)

(It is red or green depending on whether you use red or green chilies)

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2 responses

  1. Kerry

    Yea! I hope it tastes just as good. Do you really have to brown the meat beforehand? I’m too lazy to ever do that.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    • Here is my thought: Once I browned a roast and then cooked it in the slow cooker. Another time, I didn’t. The one I browned was a million times better. It also was a lot more tender (which doesn’t really make sense to me….) In short, I just do it because I’m nervous about not doing it. Is it vital? Probably not!

      August 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm

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