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Pork Pozole by Christine McFadden

Serves

Serves 6-8

Cooks In

Over 60 minutes

Pozole is a traditional Mexican soupy stew made with a special type of hard-husked dried white maize (also known as hominy), meat (usually pork), vegetables, chillies and other seasonings, plus the all-important garnishes. The secret of success lies in the rich meat stock. This rich gelatinous stock includes a pig's trotter, which gives it a jelly-like consistency when cold. You can find them in traditional butchers and some large supermarkets. The stock can be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge, or for 6 months in the freezer. Dried maize for pozole needs several hours soaking and cooking before it is added to the stew, so it's best to start the day before. Make the stock ahead of time too, while the maize is soaking. If poblano chillies are unavailable, you could use large green Turkish chillies instead. Another option are to use four fleshy green bell peppers and a couple of small green chillies.

Method

To make the stock:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/gas 8. Arrange the bones in a roasting tin with the onions. Roast for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Drain the fat and transfer the bones and onion to a large stock.
  2. Trim any visible fat from the beef. Cut the meat into large chunks. Add to the pot with the remaining ingredients. Pour in enough cold water to cover by about 5cm. Slowly bring to the boil, removing the scum as it accumulates. Reduce the
  3. heat and cook, uncovered, at the barest simmer for 3 hours. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. 
  4. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl. Discard the residue. Line the sieve with damp muslin and strain again. Pour into containers and leave to cool. Cover and store in the fridge. When thoroughly chilled, remove any solidified fat from the surface.

To make the stew:

  1. Drain the soaked maize, put in a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil then simmer, partially covered for about 2 hours or until the kernels have started to open up. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Combine the oregano, cumin seeds, pepper and lime zest. Put in a large plastic bag with the pork, and shake to mix. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, place the chillies in a roasting tray. Grill under a preheated very hot grill for about 7–10 minutes, or until the skin has blistered and charred. Remove from the heat and cover with a clean tea towel to loosen the skins. When cool enough to handle, peel and deseed them. Chop the flesh coarsely and set aside (save any juice that is left on the board).
  4. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and fry for 7–10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown at the edges. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise the meat won’t brown, so fry in batches if necessary. 
  5. While the meat is frying, heat the remaining oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes until starting to colour. Add the chopped chillies with their juice, salt, the meat with the pan juices and the drained maize. 
  6. Pour in enough of the stock to just cover the meat. Stir in the chipotle in adobo sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for about 2 hours, or until the maize is open and soft, and the meat meltingly tender. Add more stock if the liquid reduces too much. 
  7. Check the seasoning, then stir in the coriander and lime juice. Serve right away with the garnishes in separate bowls.