Kroger had pork shoulders for 99 cents a pound so I grabbed one. I figured it was past time for a big pot of posole.Mrs J eats hers with crushed nacho chips but I like to go with the traditional garnishes, sans cilantro because reasons. Posole as I made it here is a pork stew with hominy spiced with a sauce made from dried chilies. I soaked the chilies in hot water and then liquified them in a blender. Push the raw sauce through a sieve and saute the result in a shallow pan with a bit of oil to bring out the flavors. Stir it into the pork broth.
I found a frozen block of posole in the nether reaches of the big freezer and decided today was a good day for it. That’s Monterey jack in the bowl with a few nacho chips. On the platter is an array of traditional garnishes. Colorful! Delicious, too.
Or pasole, or maybe pozole. I’ve spelled it all three ways. Good stuff. Here is a link to a previous post with a recipe. I put up a big chunk of roasted pork in a mason jar last year and used it in today’s dish.
I fried some tortilla wedges for a side to go with some black bean salsa and pico de gallo. These are flour tortillas, I didn’t have any made of corn. The flour ones toasted up very nice. Drain on paper towels or a rack and season them while still hot. I used the Tex-Mex seasoning I favor, and several with plain salt for the Missus.
Pico is a simple but tasty mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Or, if you hate cilantro like we do, flat leaf parsley. The salsa is easy, rinse a can of black beans, add some corn, diced onions and whatever else sounds good to you, I sliced some jalapenos. The salsa and the pico are both finished with a splash of lime juice. Salt to taste.
Rather than try to freeze the leftover soup we thought to try to can the stuff. Have had spotty success with things like pea soup and ham ‘n beans. I suppose reading the canning recommendations on times and temps would have been useful.
Most if not all of the failures we have suffered are as a result of winging it, extrapolating from canning tomato sauces and the like. Low acid foods just aren’t suitable for water bath methods. I won’t bother to link to the canning tables but for veggies and meats a pressure canner is a must, and the times are much longer than I would have guessed. 90 minutes at 10#, and that is after a good 10 minutes and longer at a full boil with the little weight off the vent, blowing all the air out. Again, I’m not going to link any “how to” sites, just Google them up–most states have official guidelines and I’ll bet there are multiple federal agencies all too happy to tell you all you need to know.
Anyway, I gave these babies the full hour and a half with the “rocker” weight dancing atop the cooker lid. This morning they all look fine. I found this explanation of “headspace” to be useful.
Yeah, yeah. Been there and done that.
Deal with it. This is seriously good stuff. I did make this batch a bit differently than the last few. I used the counter top roaster to cook the pork and added a bunch of onions and dried peppers to the pan with the meat. Cleaned a head of garlic and slipped most of the head into slits cut here and there on the roast. Took the powdered dried peppers I made a while back and gave everything inside the pan a good dusting with that, along with some onion powder and plenty of ground black pepper. Poured in a good quart of chicken stock and turned it on to 350. I shoved a temperature probe into the sweet spot and set it to beep when it got to 165. Worked like a charm.
I took the cooked roast out and set it to cool on a board and then strained the peppers and onions and other solids from the juices left in the pan. Ladle off the fat from the good stuff or do as I did–put the bowl into the freezer until the fat hardens and you can lift it out.
Drag out the blender and dump in the solids you strained from the drippings and the defatted juices and pulse to puree, add chicken stock or water to make it thin enough to pour back into the pot. Those chilies and cooked onions with a few cloves of cooked garlic make a super duper flavoring. I enhanced mine with a few chipotles in adobo sauce. The juice of a lime will work well in there.
Shred or chop the pork when it is cool enough to handle. Peel off the fat and gristly parts. Dump the meat into a big stock pot, add some hominy, a few more onions cut up into largish pieces, add enough chicken stock to cover well. Add the puree of peppers and onions and bring the pot to a simmer, keep it there for at least an hour, longer is better. Give the broth a taste and adjust for salt and heat. Add more pureed chipotles, perhaps with some red pepper flakes or whole dried chilies. Knock yourself out. I like a good bit of oregano in mine, I put in a good tablespoon-that’s in 5 quarts or so, maybe 6, of soup.