Published by Robert Rose
I love the robust flavors in this traditional Mexican dish, which is perfect for a casual evening with friends. Add the chipotle pepper if you like heat and a bit of smoke. To continue the Mexican theme, serve with a tossed green salad that includes a diced avocado, and warm fresh tortillas.
Poblano peppers, one of the mildest chile peppers, are becoming increasingly available in markets. Triangular in shape, they are a deep shade of green and have a wonderful hot-fruity flavor that is lovely in this dish. However, if you can’t find them, green bell peppers make a more than acceptable substitute. In their dried form, poblano peppers are known as ancho peppers.
One serving of this dish is an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin that has long been known to prevent neural tube defects in babies. Now information from the Harvard Nurses’ Study suggests that an adequate supply of folate has more wide-ranging effects. Consumption of folate may help to prevent high blood pressure and keep homocysteine levels under control, protecting blood vessels from plaque. And Finnish researchers found a link between the consumption of folate and a reduced risk of depression. Although previous information linked folate intake with a decreased risk of colon cancer, a recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that large daily doses of the nutrient actually seemed to increase the risk of the disease. Once again, it appears that supplementation, not the nutrient itself, may be the problem. Folate is not easily obtained in a typical North American diet. Sources include leafy greens, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
Cooking Methodslow cooking
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Equipmentblender, crock pot
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturechewy, herby, hot & spicy, juicy, meaty, savory, smoky, spiced
Type of Dishhot soup, soup
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 lbs trimmed pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 1 kg
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
- 2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lime zest
- 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) no salt added diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups (500 mL) reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 1 can (29 oz/824 mL) hominy, drained and rinsed
- 2 poblano or green bell peppers, seeded and diced (see Notes)
- 2 dried ancho or guajillo chiles
- 2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped cilantro
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, optional
- Shredded lettuce, optional
- Chopped radish, optional
- Chopped red or green onion, optional
- Fried tortilla strips, optional
- Lime wedges
In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel and crumble. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Drain all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) fat from pan. Add pork, in batches, and brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium.
Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, peppercorns and lime zest and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, stock, hominy and reserved pork and any accumulated juices and return to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until pork is almost tender, for 1½ hours. Stir in reserved bacon and poblano peppers.
Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, soak ancho chiles in boiling water for 30 minutes, weighing down with a cup to keep submerged. Drain and discard soaking liquid and stems. Chop chiles coarsely. Transfer to a blender. Scoop out ½ cup (125 mL) cooking liquid from the pozole and add to blender along with lime juice, cilantro and chipotle pepper, if using. Puree and stir into pozole. Add salt to taste and continue cooking until pork is tender and flavors meld, about 30 minutes.
To serve: Ladle into soup plates and top with the garnishes of your choice. Season to taste with lime juice.
Slow Cooker Method:
Complete Steps 1 and 2, reducing the quantity of chicken stock to 1½ cups (375 mL). Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours, until pork is tender. Stir in reserved bacon, poblano pepper and ancho chile mixture and adjust seasoning. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender.
2008 Judith Finlayson