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Pozole

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       Pozole is spicy, warm, and comforting.  Just the thing to keep anyone who loves South of the Border cuisine happy on a cold winter’s day or completely content in the summer months too!  I was introduced to this dish (though not the same recipe) by one of my dearest friends, and so every time I eat it I seem to be magically transferred back into her kitchen in Bloomington Indiana.  Although we both live far away from where we met and spent so many happy times laughing and cooking together, I’m very glad to share this recipe and memory with you!  (And hope find yourself eating this deliciously spicy and flavorful soup with beloved friends and family! <3)

Pozole Ingredient List:

8 Slices of Bacon
4 lbs of trimmed Pork Shoulder, cut into one inch cubes
2 Onions
8 Cloves of Garlic
2 tbsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
4tsp Lime Zest
2 cans of (14oz) Diced Tomatoes with Juice
5 cups Chicken Broth
2 Cans (29oz) hominy, drained and rinsed
4 Dried Ancho or Guajillo Chile Peppers
3 cups Boiling Water
4tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
4tbsp finely chopped Cilantro
4 Poblano Peppers seeded and diced
Optional: If you like a little spice 1-2 Chipotle Pepper(s) in adobo sauce (If you like it hotter try four!)
Salt (I’m a fan of seasoning as you go so you can control the sodium levels of your food to taste or for health reasons)

Optional Garnishes:
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Radish
Chopped Red or Green Onion
Fried Tortilla Strips
Lime Wedges
Avocado Wedges

1.  In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cook your bacon until it’s crispy, pull it out to drain on some paper towels, and when cooled off crumble and reserve for later.  Drain all bacon drippings except about 3 Tablespoons from the pot, and use it to brown pork (on all sides) in batches.  (Save browned pork in a large bowl to collect the juices.)

2.  Finely chop garlic and onion, then add to your stockpot (medium heat) and cook while stirring until softened/translucent.

3. Add in oregano, peppercorns, and lime zest while stirring for a minute or so.

4. Add in tomatoes with juice, broth, hominy, and reserved pork + juices then boil.

5. Once boiling reduce the temperature to low, and cover and simmer until the pork is tender for about 1 1/2 hours.

6. While you’re waiting in a glass or ceramic bowl (or something that’s heatproof) soak dried chile peppers in boiling water for about 30 minutes.  (Use and inverted plate with a can on top to weigh them down and keep them submerged.) When softened, remove the peppers from the water, remove their stems, and put them in a food processor (or blender) along with 1 cup of broth (from your stockpot), lime juice, cilantro, and chipotle peppers (if using) and puree.

7. Add the puree along with poblano peppers and reserved bacon, stir it up, put a lid back on it, and let cook for another half an hour.  (Taste it as well, and add Salt for final seasoning)

8.  The Pozole’s Ready!  Serve it in bowls with the garnishes of your choice.

Jenny

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