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Recipe: Crockpot Saddleberk Pork Shoulder Pazole

What you'll need (for 12 servings):

  • 2 lbs boneless Saddleberk pork shoulder
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 dried red ancho chile (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz chicken stock 
  • 8 oz white hominy* *Hominy is corn that has been soaked in lye and thoroughly rinsed. The result is corn kernels that have swollen in size and have a tortilla like flavor
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 large avocados (To garnish)
  • 8 oz sour cream (To garnish)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the poblano peppers and red bell peppers on a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the peppers half way through the cooking process. The skins should start to blister and loosen from the flesh of the peppers. Once the peppers are cooked and still hot, wrap them air tight in plastic wrap or place them in a tupperware with the lid on for 5 minutes. This will cause the peppers to steam and further loosen the skin from the flesh. 

While the peppers are roasting, clean and cut the onion into large chunks about 1x1" and mince the garlic cloves. Rinse the hominy in a colander under running water. Combine onion, garlic, hominy, chicken stock, oregano, cumin and 1 tbsp kosher salt in the crock pot. Set cooking temperature to high. 

Dice the pork shoulder into 1" cubes, removing the thicker fat portions. Some fat is okay and adds to the mouthfeel of the soup. Season the pork generously with kosher salt and add to the crockpot. 

To clean the peppers, set the colander under the sink faucet. The peppers will still be hot, so remove the stem, seeds and peel off the skin under cold running water, catching the seeds and skin in the colander to discard. The seeds of the poblano are where the spicy heat will come from, so leave some poblano seeds if you want a spicier soup. Roughly dice all the peppers about 1/2x1/2" and add to the crockpot. Add the dried red ancho chile for an even spicier soup with a reddish hue, or omit the poblano seeds and dried chile for a milder soup and serve with your favorite hot sauce. 

Stir ingredients in the crockpot to thoroughly mix and cook on high setting, with the lid on for 5 hours or until the pork is tender. The soup can also be cooked on low for 9-10 hours, perfect for prepping the day before and turning on before heading to work. If you're cooking with out a crockpot, use a large pot with a lid and cook at a low simmer, covered, for about 4 hours. 

Courtesy of Chef Jonathon Olson, head chef at The Keep (at the Hotel LeVeque, Columbus Ohio) and friend of Saddleberk.