I've written twice about Pazole (perhaps on other blogs) but guess what!? I'm going to do it again. For two reasons (1) I cannot tell you how much I love this soup but I'm trying again. (2) The way I made it this time was beyond perfection in my mind and my husband agreed it was the best.
The funny thing is, it's the simplest method I've used yet! Isn't that so true of life that simple is better? I usually cook my pork (usually do a picnic roast) in a big stew pot with the chopped onion and let that cook for hours. With working now, I don't have time to watch a pot anymore. So, I put the pork (I think I did a boneless pork butt roast this time which was better) in the crockpot, covered it with water and seasoned it with salt, pepper and lots of powdered garlic.
When I got home from work, I pulled the meat out and put it in my dutch oven (I had to put some in a second soup pot there was so much. I picked out the fat and then poured the broth from the crockpot in ladle by ladle through a strainer to keep the ugly bits out. I did not add chopped onion or even cilantro to the soup like I usually do. I just put in some oregano, chili powder, lots of cumin, pepper and salt, more garlic, and my own idea of some smoked paprika. I add the strained Hominy (I use the large can) and chop up the meat with a spoon in bite size pieces. I let that come to a simmer and cook a bit and then turned it off. I also took one lime and squeezed the juice in.
Traditional Pazole has dried Ancho peppers in it that are re-constituted in warm water, blended and then strained into the soup. However, since I needed an easier method this time, I did the large can of red enchilada sauce. I thought it was better. Easier and better make a great team. If you want more from scratch though, go for it!
I chopped up the toppings of: Cabbage (some Mexican's do lettuce too), sweet white onion, cilantro, radishes, avocado and lime wedges. The lime is squeezed into the bowl before eating. This additional lime is optional for the one eating. I also shred cheese for the kids but it does not need it traditionally. I think the amazing difference of this soup is that the veggies are sweet and fresh and crunchy but do get nice and warm the moment they meet the soup. It reminds me of Pho which is made by the Vietnamese. The cilantro and onion being fresh made much better flavor per bite.
I had never kept the basic soup so simple or cooked it on the stove so little. I had also never had sliced avocado on top. I served it with soft maza corn tortillas with butter (not warm because it will drip all over, instead keep it room temp and dip in the soup to melt the butter with each bite). It was so amazing!
Some of my kids don't do anything but cheese. I let them decide on this dish. It is of course better with everything in it!
So here is the content list: (sorry, I don't measure. Go by taste. I probably do a teaspoon, or half of one for the seasonings)
1 Pork Roast (Boneless is easier)
1 Large can hominy (when I say large, I mean the Food For Less LARGE one)
Broth from the Pork (remember I just covered mine with water in the crockpot and that was enough for sure)
Juice of one Lime (I plunk it in the soup after I squeeze it to get some flavor from the zest)
1 Large Can Enchilada sauce or two 14oz cans
Shredded Cheese (optional)
Crunched Tortilla chips (optional)