Friday, January 21, 2011

Crock Pot Pozole

I had a serious craving for some pozole and I let it go on for about a week before I got off my backside and whipped some up.  It's extremely easy, especially when you do it in the crock pot, so I had to kick myself for putting it off for so long.  By the time I finally made some, I had eyes about 30 times the size of my stomach and I ended up making far more than I, or my little family of four, could ever eat. 

That left me with a major decision to make.  Do I a) extend an invitation to my family and friends to come over and partake in my delight, or do I b) be greedy and keep it all to myself? I pondered.  Cause folks, this isn't as easy as it seems.  We're talking about pozole, here.  Share it?  Eat it?  Share it?...... Eat it?........

Ultimately, I decided to call some friends and my parents and invite them over for dinner.  But wouldn't you know it, they were busy!  I mean who has places to be and things to do on a Tuesday night?  Oh.  People with lives, you say?  This is foreign to me.  I don't understand.  My typical Tuesday night is the same as my typical Wednesday night, or even Saturday night, for that matter.  What are these "lives" you speak of?  Doesn't everyone do laundry on Saturday night?   Hmmmmmmmm.................

Oh well, as good intentioned as I was, this lack of company left me with about 2 gallons of pozole.  Seriously.  Since there was no way we could possibly eat this much and I have absolutely zero room in my freezer for one and a half gallons of pozole, I decided that I would preserve the rest by canning it.  That means today you will get a wonderful pozole recipe and later on, you will get a lesson on how to preserve food by canning it.  How's that for a great deal?

Start with a large hunk of pork butt roast, bone-in. 
This is about a 6 lb roast and I used all of it.  I told you I made a lot. 

You need to chunk it up into manageable sized pieces.  I decided that 8 pieces would work for this roast.

Place these chunks in the bottom of a crock pot.  Don't bother to trim the fat.  Throw that in there, too.  That's where the flavor is.

Into the crock pot, also toss in some crushed garlic cloves.  Here's how I do it - place the cloves on a cutting board and, one at a time, place the flat side of a large blade right on top.  Now give it a good whack with the bottom of your palm.
This will loosen the peel from the clove. 

Just pull it right off.  (My garlic had been in the freezer so it had taken on this gelatinous translucent look.  It was actually still very firm.)

Throw the garlic in the crock pot along with some chopped onion, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

Traditionally, you would also add a few dried red chili pods to the pot, but I have a family with sensitive palettes, so I left it out.  Later on, I added a healthy shot of hot sauce to my own bowl and its just perfect.

Mmmmm....Rooster sauce.  Good on anything.  Eggs, soups, pizza, pasta, anything.  A little goes a long way. 

Cover the ingredients in the crock pot with water.  Make sure to leave some room at the top because later on you're going to add some hominy.

As you can see, I'm pushing it here.  This is one of two crock pots I had filled and they were both topped out. 
So that's it for the next several hours.  Set your crock pot to high.  I set mine for six hours because I have one that lets me do that.  Some just say "High, Low, Off."  I have one of those, too.  I turned it to 'high' and walked away.  A trip to the grocery store, two loads of laundry, and three hours later, I drained and rinsed a couple cans of hominy...

  and added them to the crock pot.  I could have added the hominy right at the beginning of the process, but I was worried that the hominy might get a little mushy after 6 hours on high.  Had I set it to low, I probably would have added it in the beginning, but I started late, so 'high' it was. 

Three more hours later, pozole is done!  And my house smells delicious.  Still does.  Three days later.  I think the scent was absorbed into the curtains.

I used two forks to shred the meat right in the crock pot.  It took less than 5 minutes.
The only thing that could make this pozole even better is to add a few garnishes.  I like shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.
Some people like to add radishes, lemon, additional chopped onion, and/or dried oregano.  This was good enough for me.  But you take it how you like it! 

Stay tuned for a canning lesson so you can preserve all this pozole for future enjoyment!

Crock Pot Pozole Recipe
6 lbs pork butt roast
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
3-5 dried red chili pods, optional
enough water to cover the ingredients (about 6-8 cups)

Optional Garnish
shredded cabbage
chopped cilantro
chopped onion
lemon or lime wedges
sliced radishes
dried oregano

Chop pork butt roast into large chunks.  Add all ingredients to the crock pot and set temperature to 'high' or 6-8 hours.  Garnish as desired. 

Note:  This recipe could easily be halved or quartered for smaller portions.  It could also be prepared directly on the stove top.  The procedure is the same, just bring the pot to a boil, cover with a lid, then lower the heat to simmer for 3-4 hours, adding water as needed to keep the broth from evaporating.

1 comment:

  1. i cant wait to try this recipe!! thanks for sharing it :)