Pork Loin to Pozole!
Often times, when we think Pork, our minds automatically drift to Pork Chops or Hams. However, I must admit, one of my most favorite cuts is the Loin.
This is where we get the leanest and most tender pork cuts. Since they’re lean, these cuts tend to dry out if overcooked. Pork is safe to eat if it’s cooked to an interior temperature of 160 degrees. There are three main parts of the loin: the blade end, which is closest to the shoulder and tends to be fatty; the sirloin end, which is closest to the rump and tends to be bony; and the center portion in the middle, which is lean, tender, and expensive. Pork chops, tenderloin and loin roasts and Canadian bacon.
Tonight I cooked a most succulent, yet simple Cumin-Dusted Pork Tenderloin for my family. Salt, Coarse Ground Black Pepper, and Cumin lovingly messaged on to a trimmed Pork Loin; roasted to perfection. Even with a crew of 6 very healthy eaters, I still had leftovers. If your family is anything like mine (we eat leftovers, when mom makes us) then you have to find a very clever way to redesign the meal. Thus, Pozole!
Pozole is a popular dish in Mexico consisting of broth, vegetables, spices, shredded meat, and an array of toppings. The word Pozole word of Nahuatl origin, potzolli means froth. The grains of a special corn called Cacahuazintl, is pre-cooked in a water solution with Calcium oxide for a couple of hours, making the corn grains lose their outer layer so that they can “open” when boiled, giving them the appearance of froth. Now, for us simple folks it’s HOMINY!!
Pozole is prepared in a variety of ways depending on the region preparing it. In the State of Guerrero, Pozole is made with Green Tomatoes, Green Pipian Pozole. Folk hailing from Michoacán add Pork Rinds, Colima residents top Pozole with White Cheese and coastal area commonly add sardines! The most common recipe used comes from Jalisco, using Pork and dried Poblano Peppers. Pozole is so versatile, that it can even be made vegetarian or vegan!! When preparing the Jalisco version of Pozole, also known as Red Pozole, a basic Blanco (white) Pozole is prepared using Pork leg, pork neck bones, and ancho chilies are added giving the Pozole it’s red color. Now, I don’t know about you, but I work a 10 hour day during the day in corporate America, and then cater to some of you wonderful people afterwards. Therefore, I do not have all day to “stew down” a whole pork leg! With this recipe, we are going to use the leftover pork loin from the night before. Clean out the fridge for some accompaniments so that everyone can dress their “perfect” bowl of Pozole. In about an hour you can have a hearty and delectable bowl of the wonderful stew that is guaranteed to be the highlight of everyone’s day.
Mary’s Leftover Pozole
Serves 8-10/ 8oz bowls
1lb. Leftover Pork Loin (or any pork that you have leftover from a previous dish) diced into ½” pieces or strips if the pork loin leftovers are already sliced.
1 ½ tbls. Vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1tbls. Garlic, minced
1small can of green chilies
2tbls. Chili Powder
1tbls. Mexican Oregano (or whatever Oregano you have)
1 large can. of Diced Tomatoes
1qt. Chicken Broth
2cns. Hominy(I like using 1 can of white and 1 can of yellow for color contrast)
10ea. Corn Tortillas (Cut into strips) reserve 1 ½ cups of strips for frying as crunchy tortilla strips for you stew!
1tbls. Lime Juice
1. Heat a sturdy stockpot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions, celery, and carrots until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and spices, sautéing for another minute.
3. Then add the leftover pork, tomatoes, hominy and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the stew starts to boil add the tortillas strips and lime juice.
4. Reduce the heat and allow the stew to simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Making sure to stir often to breakdown the tortillas and keep them from sticking to the pot.
Serve with Fresh Chopped Cilantro, Shredded Cabbage, Jalapenos, Diced Avocado, Crispy Tortilla Strips, Shredded Cheese, Sliced Radishes, Salsa, Sour Cream, or whatever you have on hand. The possibilities are endless!!!