Day 10 of cooking at home: Red pozole for days

I wasn’t the only person craving pozole this weekend.
It was freezing, and I needed an excuse to stay home all Saturday afternoon and cook. The soup was delicious, and there’s so much of it that I’ll be eating it for days on end.
This red pozole was one of my cooking projects this weekend. The pork took a while to cook in the oven, but it was otherwise a simple dish to prepare. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

This red pozole was one of my cooking projects this weekend. The pork took a while to cook in the oven, but it was otherwise a simple dish to prepare. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

That’s one big plus — or minus, depending on your feelings about leftovers — about cooking for yourself and your two somewhat picky kids. If they don’t like the food, you get to eat it all! It’s the second week of this My Home Table cooking challenge, for what it’s worth, so having leftovers is a great way to catch a break from the dishes.
Since I already have those pickled onions and a bag of leftover shredded cabbage on hand, I’ll use the leftover pork from this dish for pulled pork sandwiches tonight. (Conversely, this recipe is a great way to use up leftovers you already have, maybe from this overnight pork roast…)
Red Pozole
Add sliced fennel and/or celery to the sautéed aromatics, if you like. You’ll also have plenty of extra pickled onions for all kinds of other tacos, sandwiches and soups.
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, root end attached and sliced into thin wedges
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on an angle
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
Small handful sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
For the pickled onions:
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Kosher salt
2 red onions, cut into 1/4-inch rings
1 jalapeño, sliced
For the pozole:
4 ancho chile peppers
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. chile powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (14-oz.) cans hominy, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)
A handful fresh cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 generous Tbsp. agave syrup or honey
2 limes
Queso fresco or other mild cheese, for topping
Warm, charred flour or corn tortillas, for serving
Make the pork: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pat the pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Brown the meat on all sides and then remove from heat. Reduce the heat and add the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, then deglaze the pot with the wine, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock and pork back to the pot and bring to a low boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning meat halfway through cooking. Cook until the meat is tender and pulls apart with a fork.

Remove pork and place on a plate until it’s cool enough to handle. Pull apart meat and divide in half. Strain the cooking liquids and add to half of the pork. Reserve half of the meat for another use.

While the pork cooks, make the pickled onions. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Place the sliced onions and peppers in a jar and pour the hot brine on top. Cool, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the pozole: Seed and stem the ancho chiles. Place the peppers in a pot and cover with stock or water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the peppers are soft. Transfer peppers and the cooking liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add onions and garlic. Season with paprika, chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stir in the pepper puree, hominy, cilantro, chicken stock, honey, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 the pulled pork. Add just enough water to form stew as loose or thick as you like, 1 to 2 cups additional liquid.

To serve, heat the stew over medium heat. Once hot, spoon the stew into shallow bowls and top with pickled onions and jalapeños, queso fresco. Serve with warm charred tortillas or tortilla chips. Serves 8 to 10.

— Adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray

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