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Posole Verde for the Super Bowl Win!

Posole Verde for the Super Bowl Win!

It barely feels like winter has kicked in, but here we are waving goodbye to another National Soup Month. Lucky for us, Super Bowl is just a few days away so we can keep rocking the soup vibe without shame. This Posole Verde is so much more than a soup, perhaps a stew, and has all the personal choice condiments that are mandatory for serving a crowd. You could make this vegan by leaving out the pork (must you?) and swapping the stock. But the slow cooking required to pop the posole begs for pork to be front and center and turning into delicate strands, filling every bite.  

Heaping Helping

Posole or Pozole?

I’m talking POSOLE, people!! Or is it POZOLE? It’s hominy or giant puffed-up corn. I first ran into posole while foodstyling a Today Show segment for Williams-Sonoma. Interesting that it was a first, because I grew up just down the street from Fuhrer Ford Mills, a hominy processing plant. As a result, our house always smelled of popped corn (kind of yummy), and there was a constant coat of silt on every surface (kind of crummy). But despite formative years in corn country, this most definitely was never ever on our table.

Pozole is the traditional Mexican spelling, though more commonly spelled posole here north of the border. Maize (maíz) was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and it was often a part of celebrations. To get from maize, to hominy or posole, the dried corn must be slaked with lime to create an alkali solution, called nixtamalization. This process loosens the hulls, makes them soft like beans, and then “pumps you up!” Remember Hans and Franz on SNL??? The lime used here is not from fresh citrus; rather, it is a food-grade calcium hydroxide. If you have ever turned cucumbers to pickles, perhaps you used “pickling lime” to crisp up the vegetables before canning. Luckily for us, by the time you find dried white corn on the shelves (in the dried bean section), this has already been done and is ready for use in soups and stews. 

Giant White Corn

Another benefit of  cooking or soaking in slaked lime and ash (an alkaline process) is that the nutritional value is bumped up (making it niacin-rich), it becomes easier to grind (resulting in masa, the main ingredient in tamales), and flavor and aroma are improved. In addition to dried posole – sometimes labeled as Giant White Corn or Maíz Mote Pelado – you might see canned hominy at your store. It’s a much faster solution, but to my taste NOT nearly the no-brainer substitution as canned-for-dried beans. The texture of posole prepared from dried kernels is unlike anything else – chewy, toothy, satisfying – and is totally lost in the canning process. Canned hominy is much like the soft texture of a canned bean and tastes like disappointment. It’s slightly metallic and oh so mushy. I’m so keen on dried posole texture that I have never made the substitution since I once sadly tried canned.   

Posole Verde

The traditional Mexican preparations for posole are blanco, rojo or verde. The first (blanco) is unadorned and has no green or red ingredients added, and the latter two rely on chilis (rojo), such as Guajillo or Ancho, or tomatillos, lime, cilantro and jalapenos (verde), as I am sharing here. Adding the green things at the very end of your simmering keeps them from overcooking, leaving the flavor bright and a bit spicy. 

Preparing the Posole

If I have the time, I like to prepare the posole the same way I would prepare dried beans. Rinse the posole under cold water, and transfer to a stockpot. Cover with 1-inch of water, bring to boil, and turn off the heat. Let the posole soak overnight.  When ready to use, drain and rinse again. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this step or just shorten it to the time you prep the remaining ingredients. 

Chilis & Lime

The  verde recipe I share here calls for a late stage addition of a puree of lime juice, jalapenos, cilantro (stems and all) and tomatillos. It kicks up the flavor profile like 100000%. This is the kind of dish you can just plop on a back burner and walk away, passing every hour or so to check on the liquid level and adding more stock, as needed. I am not an instant pot or slow cooker “cooker”, but I bet/know in my heart they would drastically reduce the time. I happen to have a few followers who are, and I’m counting on you to comment below. The big reveal comes when the posole starts to pop and look like a flower or popcorn, depending on your vision. I’ll admit it – it can take from 3 to 5 hours to pop (longer if the dried corn has been around for years and if you skip the soaking step), but it’s very low maintenance and for me a bit satisfying to have something cooking for the afternoon that really doesn’t cry out for attention. It’s like I’m cooking, and I’m not. Once it’s getting close, just toss the lime juice et al. in the processor, and give it a whirl.  Add this to the pot and cook a few minutes more.

Prepping the Toppings

In Mexico, this dish is usually served with an array of toppings, including limes, cheese, sour cream, avocados, and radishes.  Who doesn’t love to dose their own dinner?  All those garnishes make it the perfect football afternoon kind of centerpiece.  Add a few chips or warm tortillas, maybe a big salad or some cornbread….. and a nice frosty beer.  You will not be sorry!

Posole Toppings

If you have a big enough pot – or want to use two – double up on the recipe. It freezes really well and then you will have a souvenir of the day you turned your kitchen into the most fragrant cantina in town.  I added some notes below on how best to freeze. And while you are scrolling down, check the bottom of the post for some delicious additions to your soup repertoire. 

Posole with all the Fixin's

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Heaping Helpin of Posole

Posole Verde for the Super Bowl Win!


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quarts, serves 12 1x

Description

Super Bowl is just a few days away so we can keep rocking the soup vibe without shame. This Posole Verde is so much more than a soup, perhaps a stew, and has all the personal choice condiments that are mandatory for serving a crowd. Put down a feast of  toppings, a crunchy salad, and some cornbread, and sit back and watch the half-time show!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound dried posole, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1″ cubes (about 3 1/4 pounds pre-trim)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 45 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked removed and rinsed (about 10 medium)
  • 2 jalapenos, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves (reserve a few sprigs for toppings)
  • Juice of 23 limes

Toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • Grated Monterrey Jack
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Avocado
  • Sliced radishes
  • Cilantro sprigs

Instructions

The night before, prep the posole:

Rinse the posole and transfer to a stockpot, covering with 1-inch of water. Bring to boil and turn off the heat. Let the posole soak overnight.  When ready to use, drain and rinse again.

To make posole:

Heat oil over high heat in an 8-quart stockpot.  Add pork, cumin, salt, and pepper. Sauté until pork is browned, about 10 minutes.

Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened and excess liquid has cooked off, about 6–8 minutes. Add soaked posole and stir to combine. Add 2 quarts of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the liquid and when getting low, add another quart of stock. I tend to add the third quart around 90 minutes and the 4th quart around 3 hours. Altogether, this will simmer a total of 3, 4 or maybe even 5 hours. It will depend in part on the age and dryness of the dried product. To be safe, give yourself enough time for a 5-hour simmer.

The pork will fall apart and shred, and you will know the posole is done when the posole kernels have popped.  The kernels will puff and pop, and look a bit like a flower (if you squint and have been hitting the cerveza during the last five hours). They burst open joyfully as if they want to become popcorn! Taste them periodically for doneness. Before they “blossom”, they will be quite starchy, fiber-full, and too chewy. Once sufficiently stewed, they will remain a bit chewy and toothy, but not woody. 

Thirty minutes before the end:

When the kernels are starting to pop and getting close to the desired texture, toss the tomatillos, jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice into a food processor and puree. Add to stockpot and simmer for the final 30 minutes until the posole is tender.  30 minutes is plenty of time to simmer for this last step, but see note below. 

Notes

Pressed for time? You can skip the soaking stage, or reduce it to the prep time for the rest of your chopping. That will likely lengthen the cooking time however. 

Never add an acidic ingredient when cooking beans, or in this case, posole until the end. The acid binds with the outer structure and toughen it ups. No amount of additional cooking time will allow it to break down. Additionally, you want the fresh vibrant flavor from the green ingredients, which will dissipate if added too early in the cooking process. 

If you are serving the posole later: Add the green mixture as you take the stew off the heat.  The hot stew will cook sufficient “heat” out of these spicy and tart ingredients.  To reheat, I also use some of that 5th quart to add to the pan. The posole will have continued to soak up broth as it sits in the refrigerator overnight, and you will need to loosen it a little with more stock. 

Serve with bowls of the toppings, a crunchy salad and some cornbread!

Freezing? This stew is a fantastic freezer staple, but make sure to cool completely before transferring to freezer containers. I called for a 5th quart of stock so that you can top off the stew with liquid.  Since there are a lot of chunky pieces, you want to make sure that they are all submerged in liquid before freezing.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: posole, posole verde

Southwestern Pork & Posole

It’s #NationalSoupMonth – so shout it out!

Here are some other ab-del (absolutely delicious) soups for your winter blues. 

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2020. All rights reserved.

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Kicked Up Kick Off Chili

Kicked Up Kick Off Chili

Super Bowl Supper

It’s last call for #NationalSoupMonth, and we are in the final countdown for Super Bowl LI. It seems like a good time to crack out a recipe I did for Cutty Sark Scotch – a Super Bowl campaign that involved scotch-laden wings, pigs, Kick Off Chili, cheesy bread bowls and more. Over the years, I have done more than my share of recipe development for liquor companies, but I am always particularly happy to do culinary recipes that go beyond the bar.

Sometimes the categories are wide open and I am on my own to get uber creative, and sometimes every last ounce of energy goes into meeting the numerous (inordinate?) parameters the client has identified. And other times, it’s a technical culinary challenge: find the perfect moment to add the alcohol. Add it too early and it cooks off with nary a trace; too late and it can be bitter or boozy. And, bitter and boozy is exactly what the messenger is thinking of me, when he rolls up with yet another bottle of my client’s elixir. It’s a dirty, rotten job, but somebody’s got to do it!

Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky

I have a little bit of a soft spot for Cutty Sark – my mother sometimes drank it….”Cutty and soda with a twist, for the lady,” my father would order. But not until this job did I consider adding it to chili. It is a remarkable improvement. The peaty flavors of scotch add a real depth of flavor and complexity that make this dish more than the sum of its parts. You can experiment with other brands or even other types of whisky, but like I said……the job………my mom….Cutty is what I always reach for.

Cup of Chili

You have let me know how fond you are of dump and stir recipes, so after the posole recipe, I figure I owe you. This chili is a snap to make. Other than draining the beef after browning, there is no heavy lifting. You will note that I am light on seasonings here – using all these convenience (read: canned) products means you are going to get more than your fair share of sodium. Personally, I have moved toward using low or no-sodium stock for most soups these days, but it’s the Super Bowl people….all bets are off!

This soup is perfect for a party. Make a tray of toppings and let guests add their favorites. #TouchDown

Kick Off Chili with All the Toppings

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Cutty Sark Kick Off Chili

Cutty Sark Kick Off Chili


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 Hungry Boy Servings 1x

Description

This is a spin on a recipe I once developed for Cutty Sark, as part of a Super Bowl campaign. The complex layering and depth of flavor which result from adding scotch to this dish have made it my go-to recipe when making a hearty winter chili.  


Ingredients

Scale

Chili

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground round
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, and their juices
  • 3 16-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 ounce can beef broth
  • 3/4 cup Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Toppings and Serving Suggestions:

  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Scallions
  • Avocado
  • Warm Flour or Corn Tortillas
  • Corn Chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.
  1. Turn burner to high heat and add ground round, breaking into large chunks. Cook until browned, about 10 – 12 minutes; drain off any liquid.
  2. Add chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and stir for 1 – 2 minutes to toast spices.
  3. Add tomatoes, beans, beef broth, scotch, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: South of the Border

It’s the last day of #NationalSoupMonth and Super Bowl is fast approaching – so shout it out!

Game Time Chili

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2017. All rights reserved.

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Don’t forget to Comment, Share & Subscribe to our blog.

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