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.
- 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until pork is almost tender, for 1½ hours. Stir in reserved bacon and poblano peppers.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving and does not include optional Garnishes.