Mexican Pork Stew with Hominy: 2 Ways
Many years ago I went to visit my friend’s family in Acapulco, Mexico. One Thursday afternoon, as we were enjoying the Acapulco Bay breeze and warm Mexican sunshine on our faces, my friend announced that this was a very special day because it was Thursday. And Thursdays, in the state of Guerrero, can only mean one thing: Pozole!
It is a tradition for families and restaurants to build this traditional stew from scratch using corn that has been cooked and soaked in an alkaline solution. This process produces an end-result that is similar to corn, in some ways, but is starchier, larger and has a softer, less fibrous texture. Although hominy is used for a myriad of dishes, it is this special ingredient (pozole) that separates this stew from other stews.
While there are many versions of Pozole, my favorite is Chicken Pozole Verde. It is this version that I enjoyed all those years ago while overlooking Acapulco Bay. While my version involves some short-cuts, the tanginess from the tomatillos and robust flavor from my Latin Nights Seasoning Blend makes my version the perfect way to try your hand at cooking Pozole in your home.
However, there is another version that is a little more smoky and fiery and is cooked with Pork Butt and red chilies. Again, while I don’t exactly replicate the tried and true traditional way of preparing this time-honored dish, my version doesn’t skimp on flavor and the recipe is easy to follow.
Personally, I think the best way to stew this pork dish is to cook it in a dutch oven or a slow cooker. However, I wanted to give you a backup version in an Instant Pot for those of you who enjoy your Pressure Cooker and have time to put it together in the afternoon. I make this version with a leaner cut of pork; the loin. I don’t think pork shoulder breaks down the same in an Instant Pot and the loin still has a little fat and doesn’t need as long to tenderize.
The Mustard Seed Difference:Flavor Booster: Texy-Mexy Seasoning Blend
Short-Cut: Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
Cooking Trick: Cover meat in Masa Harina to add more earthy flavor and thickness to the soup.
This is my favorite version because the low and slow method breaks down the fibrous tissue in the meat while giving it time to soak up the flavor of the chilies and seasonings.
For a leaner and faster version of Red Pozole, pull out your instant pot. Since it cooks so quickly, I add a little more salt and cut up the loin a little smaller. I also add one bell pepper to round out the flavors.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, I hope you will try cooking one of these versions of pozole. You never know, hominy may just make it into your monthly dinner rotation!
To learn more about Pozole, check out this article by Food Network.