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Its Friday So It Must Be Soup! Pozole Verde

Okay, it's been a bit of a sparse month for my poor yum yum factor. Between travelling over the holidays and stressing about my last month of no reEATS , I have been neglecting this blog for a while now but this will all be done now that the year is over and I no longer have to commit to never repeating a recipe for dinner is over.
I can relax, kick back and just cook for the fun of it again and , best of all, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, how many times I want to!

This week, I made a pozole verde - a mexican pork soupy stew with hominy and lots of good green stuff. It was also my last official post on no reEATS for 2011 so I had to use it over there but I will share a link to it here. I had planned make this before we went away on our Xmas trip and use it as my friday soup the week before we left for Mexico to get the holiday started on a good note but it was just too busy. Making it after we returned home turned out to be an even better idea.

Pozole Verde

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbls mexican oregano
pinch cumin seed
pinch peppercorns
2 lbs pork shoulder butt

1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
28 oz or approx 800g tomatillos, drained
1/2 cup chopped, canned poblano peppers
small sprig cilantro
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
a couple of tbls of vegetable oil

2 or 3 red potatoes, 1/2" dice
36.5 oz or 1 kg can hominy, drained
the pork cooking stock and any additional water or chicken stock to bring it to about 5 cups

thinly sliced radish, deep fried corn tortilla strips, fresh lime wedges, raw red onion sliced really thinly, mexican oregano if you can find it

Put the pork butt, onion, cumin seed, peppercorns and garlic in a heavy pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer, half covered, for about three hours or until the pork is falling apart tender.
Remove the pork from the liquid and set aside to cool a bit. You can do this the day before and let the strained stock sit in the fridge overnight so you can get rid of most of the fat (don't get rid of all of it because it's really tasty and this isn't the time to worry about your diet). If you aren't making it the next day, strain it and let it sit and then do your best to remove the thick layer of fat on the top of the stock.

Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet until they swell up and start to pop and then remove and set aside. Drain the tomatillos and the peppers.
When the pumpkin seeds cool down, put them in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder. Then add the tomatillos, peppers, salt and pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro and process until completely smooth (you might have to add up to 1/2 cup of the pork stock if it's too thick to process)

Heat a couple of tbls of veg oil in the same heavy pot you cooked the pork in over med high heat and pour in the green pumpkin seed/tomatillo puree and cook it until the colour deepens at a nice simmer, about 15 to 25 minutes. It will thicken and the colour will become darker and richer.

Meanwhile, shred up the pork, discard the fat and set aside. Wash and chop the potatoes without peeling them and set those aside too.

After the green sauce has cooked for about 20 minutes, add the shredded pork,drained hominy and the potatoes. Add enough of the pork broth that it is a nice, soupy consistency but not a thin soup. Use your judgement - it's between a soup and a stew. I added about 5 cups of stock and the constancy was perfect.

Let that continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or more, until the potatoes are cooked. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and serve in shallow bowls.

Serve it with your additions so people can add whatever they want to the top of their pozole. You can also serve it with chopped avocado, shredded cabbage or lettuce but we didn't this time.

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