Monday, December 20, 2010

Pozole Verde (Tomatillo and Hominy Braised Pork)

Recently my brother and I took a cooking class at the Chopping Block.  The Chopping Block offers two types of classes, Hands-On or Demonstration.  We opted for the demonstration class so we could relax with a drink while the demonstrating chef prepared the food for us.  I really like this option because in watching the chef I can pay more attention to what they are doing, ask questions about the products and techniques and just enjoy a night out of the kitchen!

We took the Slow Cooking class which was great because all of the recipes could be used in a crock pot for all day cooking or on the stove on low for a few hours.  The Pozole Verde was by far my favorite dish.  It was hearty and perfect for a cold winter night. The demonstrating chef showed us how to make this on the stove using a Le Creuset pot but also said that the recipe would work in a crock pot for 8 hours.  I like the idea of using the crockpot but there is definitly some prep work beforehand, this is not one of those dishes where you can toss everything in to the crock pot, turn it on and 8 hours later you are ready to go.

I made this dish last Sunday, opting for the stovetop version. I can't imagine spending $200 on Le Creuset so I used my fake Le Creuset pot from Marshalls and it turned out great!  My only problem with the dish was that there could have been more sauce. When we had the dish at the Chopping Block it was a bit soupier so I have slightly modified the directions so you have a little more sauce. 

Pozole Verde (Tomatillo and Hominy Braised Pork)
** modified from the Chopping Block Cooking School
print recipe

Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes or up to 8 hours in a crockpot

For the Sauce
3small onions
3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 to 2 jalapeno's, quartered (leave the seeds in if you want more spice)

2 T. grapeseed oil (or canola oil) ** Don't use olive oil because you need an oil with a larger heat factor
2 pounds pork shoulder or butt, cut into 2 inch cubes (I had the butcher do this for me)
salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin

2 poblano peppers, roasted and cut into strips
1 28 oz. can hominy, drained
1/2 c. cilantro, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

To prepare the sauce set the broiler on high. Place onions, garlic, tomatillos, and jalapeno peppers on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and cook, turning occasionally until nicely charred, about 6 minutes.  Remove the tray from the oven and transfer items to a blender and puree until smooth.  Set the sauce aside.

To prepare the pork, heat a heavy pot over medium high heat and add oil (just enough to cover the bottom).  Season pork with salt and pepper and sear on all sides until golden brown. Once brown remove pork from the pan and set aside. You may need to do this in multiple batches because you don't want to overcrowd the meet, I did three batches.

Once the meat has all been seared, reduce the heat to medium low and deglaze the pan with the tomatillos sauce, scraping up any bits of pork. Stir in the cumin and then add the pork back to the meat. Allow to cook on medium low for 2 hours.  Or if you were using this crock pot, this is the point where you would add everything to the crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours.

To roast the pobablo peppers, set the oven to broil.  Cut the poblano peppers in half and place on a baking sheet.  Broil the peppers until slightly charred, about 6 minutes.  Place the peppers in a paper bag for 10 minutes and then take them out and remove the skin.  Cut the peppers into strips and set aside.

After 2 hours, or a 1/2 hour before serving if using the crock pot method, add the hominy and poblano peppers. Right before serving fold in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

No comments: