Thursday, March 26, 2009

pasole

many of you know i've traveled a rather bumpy road...all because of choices that i made. those are decisions that i own. despite traveling uphill both ways in 8 inches of snow to many destinations, i'm in a pretty good spot now. much of that i owe to some dear pals...

for almost 7 years, another woman has taken care of my kids while i finished school and worked, because i refuse to be a freeloader. (no offense to any of you freeloaders out there. it's just not for me.) anyway...this wonderful lady has given my kids a second home and she's a good cook. she's also married to a hispanic dude and so she cooks up some awesome mexican food. she introduced me to pasole, which is a mexican soup made with pork and hominy.

i've had a couple of different versions of pasole, but this recipe i developed on my own... my kids love this and will chow down on it, even though it IS a little spicy. i've made it with canned chicken, too, but it's much better with pork, so if you make it, use pork. :) at least the first time. think of this like a mexican version of chicken noodle soup, without chicken or noodles. LOL.

pasole (PAH-soul-ay)

*1 1/2 - 3 lbs pork (you can use tenderloin, chops, whatever)
*2 28-oz cans of white hominy (found in the mexican section of your grocery store)
*1 large onion, diced
*2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
*12-14 cups of broth, any kind (more on this later)
*1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
*1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
*2 tsp. dried oregano
*finely shredded cabbage
*salt and pepper to taste
*1 T bacon fat or vegetable oil

ok, ok, so i know i use cabbage alot. i apologize, especially if you don't like cabbage. i also use a buttload of chicken broth. believe me when i say i love to buy it when it's on sale. also, don't forget the better than bouillion. you could then use water and a couple of spoonfuls of that stuff and be good to go.

first, a quick note. this recipe takes TIME to cook, but the prep time is next to nothing. i like to roast a pork loin in the oven the night before. place the pork loin in deep baking dish, and season well with salt and pepper. i like to cook the pork loin with 1 can of beef broth and i roast it on 275 degrees F for about 2-3 hours. i let it cool off and put the whole thing in the fridge before i go to bed.

ok, now you are ready to cook. and dinner will be ready in no time at all. in a large pot, melt the bacon fat. dice the onion nicely and cook it in the hot fat, seasoning with salt and pepper. mince the garlic and toss it in with the onion. i like to let this cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until everyone in the house is really complaining that i'm stinking up the house or that their eyes are watering from the onion.

i'm awesome.

open the cans of hominy and drain them in a colander. rinse the hominy off several times and let it drain. have you ever eaten corn nuts? if yes, then you've eaten hominy. you'll LOVE it in soup. it tastes nothing like corn..it's much more like barley.

let's talk about that broth. 12-14 cups is about 8 14-oz cans of chicken broth. you can use vegetable or beef broth if that is what you have. you can also substitute some of that broth for water. that's the beauty of cooking...you can really do what you want. this soup will still have lots of flavor if you replace some of the broth with water. this might be important to you as some broths can be very salty.

this is where you add the broth. put it all in there, baby. toss in the drained hominy and the oregano. stir and taste the broth for seasoning. add salt if you need to...but not too much. make sure the soup is simmering....mmmkay? add the tomato sauce, too.

chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. are you scared? you'll find these little guys in the mexican food aisle at your grocery store, too. probably close to the hominy. it seems kind of lame to buy a can of them to only use one or two peppers. however, i put mine in a gladware container and find they keep in the fridge for at least three weeks. they are good in chili and i have another soup recipe somewhere that i use them in. and somewhere, someone will cringe, but sometimes i have to throw the unused ones away.

start with ONE pepper. trust me on this. these are hot little bastards babies. slice it up into very small pieces and put it into the soup. i use the seeds and everything...but if you want, you could try to remove the seeds, as that is where most of the heat is. stir the soup well and continue to simmer.

take that pork out of the fridge and skim all the fat off the top of the broth. the broth that the pork was cooked in will probably be gelled; this is ok. remove the pork loin to a cutting board and put the broth the pork loin was roasted in into the soup. you can slice, dice or shred the pork, it's completely up to you. add the pork to the soup, bring back up to a simmer temperature.

taste the broth. chances are it is spicy enough, but if you want more heat, add another chipotle pepper. i once made this so freaking spicy that we could barely eat it! i had to serve it with TONS of sour cream...and it was good, but it was SO. HOT. make sure it has the flavor you want...you can add a little bit of salt and pepper if you want.

the longer you simmer this, the better it is, but if you want, you can serve it as soon as it's heated through.

i know you're dying to know what to do with that cabbage. slice it up real thin, right? you can also use that shredded coleslaw mix that you find in the premade salad section at your grocery store. put a handful of cabbage in the bottom of a bowl, and ladle the pasole over the top. you can garnish with fresh squeezed lime juice if you like.

my kids love this. if you get it too spicy, calm the heat down with some sour cream.

this makes enough to serve a small army, so we always have it for two meals. it's usually weekend food, so sometimes we eat it for lunch AND dinner. cook once, eat twice.

5 comments:

Connie Weiss said...

That sounds sooooo yummy! I love chipotle peppers in adobo....I put a couple each into little snack sized ziploc bags and throw them in the freezer!

I am making my Pasole today....it has chicken in it!

Bridge said...

Sounds delicious! I'll have to try it.

Stacey Irwin said...

wow! I must try this.. However I am a spice PANSY.. so I might have to try a half of a half pepper. I might have to divide it and make "pansy" Pasole and regular pasole for Paul.( he loves super spicy.) I will let you know how it goes.. But I'm excited to give it a whirl!

aworgill said...

Hi Jess! I've gotta try that. I am a total soup snob. I think it's spelled pozole, if you care. What exactly does hominy taste like? I always had Mexicans buying it when I worked in groceries, but I was a little skeered because I know they use it when preparing tripe...

Clayton said...

yum Posole,its a tradition in my family to have this every new years day, so I or my mother make it a few times each year. but there is on thing I saw thats missing!!!CUMIN!!(Comino)if there is one signature spice in pork pasole its cumin and lots of it, added when makeing the stock and add just before serving to get the wonderfull earthy tones it brings.

also we slice up cabbage, onion, radish, and avocado to pour on top of the soup , then garnish with lime ,cilantro, and some hot sause.

the nice thing about leaveing out the Chilis and just useing a nice hot sause is you get a wonderfull clear broth rather than cloudy red, and the veggys really look great mounded up on the clear broth.

never tryed it with sour cream, will give it a try.

it can be spelled Pasole(English) or Pozole(Spanish) or Pozolli(Nahuatl-"Aztecan") other Nahuatl words you may know avocado chili chocolate coyote and tomato.

To: aworgill hominy is just corn yellow or white that has been soked in lye water ( lye water= water mixed with wood ashes)
this process is called Nixtamalization and it removes the outer shell-layer on the kernal. Maize subjected to the nixtamalization process has several benefits over unprocessed grain for food preparation: it is more easily ground; its nutritional value is increased; flavor and aroma are improved; and mycotoxins are reduced. These benefits make nixtamalization a crucial preliminary step for further processing of maize into food products, and the process is employed using both traditional and industrial methods, in the production of tortillas, tamales, corn chips, hominy and many other items.

corn(Maize) was a sacred plant for the Mesoamericans and other inhabitants of Mexico, pozole was made to be consumed on special events , but I love it just about any old time.
Cheers
Clayton Ross