Transforming hominy into Pozole Blanco

by Forager on March 24, 2009

Following on from my last post, I was keen to use the hominy in a pork and hominy stew known as pozole blanco, so I rushed home from my little shopping expedition out in Sydney’s western suburbs to start the stew. A fellow foodie and chef who specialises Mexican, Chef Paul (aka Foodman), kindly supplied a recipe for pozole blanco at my request. Here’s his recipe (with a few variations of my own):

Pozole Blanco – pork and hominy stew
(Serves 2 hungry people)

Ingredients:
0.5kg pork shoulder roast
1 can of rinsed canned hominy
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp powdered chicken stock
6 cups of water (or enough to cover the ingredients)
0.5 cup of onions finely sliced
1 tsp dried epazote

Raw garnish ingredients:
1 cup of cabbage cored and very thinly shredded
Or 1 cup of iceberg lettuce, cored and very thinly shredded
8-10 radishes thinly sliced
Dried oregano
15-20 crisp fried tortilla chips
Lime wedges
Avocado

Coriander
Fresh chillies

Ingredients note:
As I didn’t have any pork shoulder roast on hand for this stew, I improvised by getting 2 BBQ pork bones from a Chinese BBQ shop. These are the leftover bones after the BBQ pork has been cooked and if you get to these stores before lunch you shouldn’t have any problems getting your hands on some (incidentally, these bones are great for making pork congee as they add plenty of flavour). I also used 0.5 kg of raw pork shoulder to ensure I still got shredded pork in the final stew. Oh and I omitted the epazote – couldn’t find it and that South American grocery, Tierras Latinas didn’t even know what it was. Must be a Mexican herb. Although I remember sprinkling some dried green herbs on the pozole blanco I had at Azteca’s in Randwick (followed by a minor psychotropic out-of-body experience which I ..ahem.. *thankfully* didn’t get on my next visit).

Directions:
Add the pork, pork bones, hominy, garlic, chicken stock and the water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to low. Simmer for 1.5-2 hours or until meat is very tender. Remove the pork from the heat and shred pork. It should be tender enough to fall of the bone easily. Put the meat back in the soup and simmer another 15 minutes. Add in the onions at this point. Adjust seasonings and serve with the raw garnishes (individuals can garnish to their own liking).

The stew tasted amazing – and it was so simple to make! The BBQ pork bones added the “roast” flavour I was after, the pork shoulder cooked till it fell off the bone and the hominy puffed up like swollen, chewy pearls. If you like barley (as I do), chances are you’ll like hominy. The addition of all the raw garnishes added a whole other dimension to the stew. The lettuce and radish added texture and crunch, the avocado added creaminess and the lime added a citrus acidity that cut through the richness. The co-pilot and I both thought the flavour was an authentic Latin American one. Delicious!

I served it with ensalada palmito – or palm hearts salad, one that we ate frequently when traveling through Central America last year. The palm hearts are usually found canned in brine or vinegar (I found these at Tierras Latinas), and the texture is quite interesting, crunchy on the outside and soft within. The salad was a simple garden salad with the addition of the chopped palm hearts, dressed in a white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing.

An incredibly tasty meal with a distinct Latino flavour and it took me all of 10 minutes preparation time to create it. Magnífico!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella March 24, 2009 at 11:31 am

Fascinating! I’ve never seen this dish before but am instantly intrigued :) I think this would be most welcome in Winter although the crunchy salad garnish would mean that it would be welcome during summer too!

2 Forager March 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Hey Lorraine – I’m not surprised it’s not well known given it was so hard to find hominy! It has a really delicious rich flavour and of the garnishes I wasn’t too sure about avocado to my stew – but it worked. Added lots of creaminess.

3 Tangled Noodle March 27, 2009 at 2:47 am

Posole (along with menudo) is one of my most favorite dishes in any cuisine! Love this recipe – thanks for sharing!

4 Forager March 28, 2009 at 12:45 am

Ooh! What’s menudo? I am ashamed to say I know little about good South American or Mexican cuisine – we seem to only get Tex Mex cuisine here is Oz. Googling it now…

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