Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pozole!



Sorry for the long delay in getting this post up.  I've been sick, then my computer ate its own face and had to get a new motherboard.  I'll try to get back in the habit of posting once every week or two.

A special thanks definitely goes out to Katie B. for suggesting pozole and giving me the recipe that I used as a starting point.  I think I did it justice and added my own spin.  Enjoy!   

Ingredients
  • Forest Fed pork steak (shoulder meat from above the picnic roast) (http://www.forestfed.com/)
    • Brine
      • cider
      • black pepper
      • bay leaf
      • kosher salt
      • celery salt
      • garlic salt
      • cumin
      • oregano
      • basil
  • Stock
    • baked pork steak bones
      • black pepper
      • cumin
      • cloves
      • garlic salt
    • cider
    • water
    • onion
    • carrots
    • celery
    • pork steak fat
    • cilantro
    • garlic
    • black pepper
    • white pepper
    • red pepper
    • garlic salt
    • celery salt
    • kosher salt
    • paprika
    • oregano
    • basil
  • Pepper sauce
    • Roasted red pepper
    • Roasted poblanos
    • Roasted jalepenos 
  • Black beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Canned tomatillos (couldn't find fresh)
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Hominy
  • Roasted poblano 
  • Roasted jalapeno 
  • Cider
  • More of the same spices used in the stock to taste

    Procedure
        First, I started the stock by putting everything together in a pot and getting it simmering.  While that got going, I made the brine by simmering the ingredients for about 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, I de-boned and trimmed the pork.  The trimmed fat got added to the stock, the bones got seasoned, placed on a cookie sheet, and baked at 400 for about 25 minutes a side, then added to the stock.  Once the brine had cooled, I put it in some bags with the pork and put it in the fridge.  The stock simmered for about 4 hours total, reducing it to a little less than half its original volume.  When it was done, I strained it and put the stock in the fridge.
        The next day, I began by roasting some poblano, jalepeno, and red bell peppers in the oven at 300 for about an hour, turning occasionally.  Once cool, I skinned and cleaned them.  While the peppers were roasting, I started the pozole by adding tomatoes, tomatillos, black beans, celery, diced onion, and spices to the stock and got it simmering.  I took the pork out of the brine, browned it on both sides in a pan, then cut it up into small pieces and added it to the soup.  Once the peppers were ready, I chopped up one poblano and one jalepeno and added them to the pozole.  The rest went into a food processor to make a hot pepper sauce.  The pozole simmered for about 2 hours total, with the hominy added with about 20 minutes left.
        To serve, I scooped the pozole into a bowl with a tortilla, and had extra tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, Mexican cheese, and my pepper sauce to add as desired.  

    Resulting Deliciousness
        While it was only my first try, I think I am well on my way to becoming a pozolero (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozole).  The meat was absolutely delicious, and the flavors of the soup were intense and well balanced.  The stock base was top notch and roasting the peppers was definitely the right move.  To improve, I'd like to make my own tortillas and serve it with more traditional garnishes like sliced radish, avocado, and Mexican cream.  I'd also like to experiment with more types of peppers, and try to pair it with some Mexican or South American wine or mezcal.  I also used the leftover soup as a chunky, very filling dip for thick tortilla chips.   

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