Pork Pozole Verde
This Mexican soup has a spicy base featuring tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano peppers and also includes hominy and tender pork shoulder. The soup is served hot with various topping options such as cilantro, cotija cheese, sliced jalapeño, radish and avocado so - accompaniments can be adjusted according to preference. Hominy is a chewy, puffy version of corn and is made from dry corn kernels that are then treated with a lye or lime solution to soften the outer shell. They add texture and a nutty corn flavor to the soup.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and halved
2 medium jalapeños, cored, seeded and halved
1 large poblano pepper, cored, seeded and halved
2 medium yellow onions, julienned
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cups chicken stock
1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed*
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 medium jalapeños, thinly sliced
2 radish, thinly sliced
2 avocados, thinly sliced
Heat a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, sear the pork on all sides, about 8 minutes. Return the pork to the pot and add 4 cups of water to the pot. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Skim the fat from the pot and reserve the cooking liquid. When the pork is cooled, shred it and discard any excess fat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add the tomatillos, jalapeños and poblano pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a blender with the poblano mixture cumin and oregano. Blend the mixture until completely pureed.
Add the puree mixture and the chicken stock to the Dutch oven with the pork cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer then add the cooked pork and hominy to the pot. Simmer until pork is fork tender and hominy increases in size, about an additional 45 minutes.
To serve: ladle the posole into soup bowls and top with cilantro, cotija cheese, jalapeño, radish and avocado as desired. Serve immediately.
*Note: Canned hominy can be found in the international section of some grocery stores, at Mexican grocery stores or online here. Look for white hominy or “mote blanco”. It can be used as you would use canned beans.