Split Personality Pork Posole

Yes, yes I know. Posole is supposed to be one of those cook-all-day dishes. And this is one. Sort of. It kind of has a split personality.

I am a cook-from-scratch kind of woman, through and through. But both my work schedule and my husband’s work schedule have changed recently and we’re not getting home until much later in the evenings, but the times of our weeknight classes and meetings haven’t changed. Twice a week I have approximately 45 minutes to get dinner ready and all of us to eat before we rush back out the door. I must adapt.

Enter the slow cooker. I love slow cookers/crockpots and I have been using them my entire adult life. Slow cookers are one of the few necessary kitchen “gadgets” for me. I use mine several times a week to make chicken stock, soak and cook beans, or cook meat. This winter I’ll be taking many of our family’s favorite meals and adapting them to cook in stages, so I only have a few minutes’ prepping and cooking or seasoning to do when I get home, or my husband or kids to do on nights when I don’t get home until late.

This posole recipe is one of my first trials and it came out wonderfully. It’s hot and hearty and the kids asked that it enter “regular rotation” on our weekly meal plan. I’m calling this “Split Personality” because it’s not “quick”- the meat is slow-cooked and you start it the night before- but the final stage of cooking only takes about 30 minutes.

Split Personality Pork Posole

2 lb wild hog boston butt, bone-in
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp mild ground chile (not chili powder!)
1 tsp salt
1/2 c water
olive oil
1 large red pepper, diced
3 red-skinned potatoes, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 jar of good quality salsa verde, preferably homemade (We like Herdez brand, no added sugar)
1 large can of white hominy, drained and rinsed

The night before, take the pork out to thaw if necessary. I do this overnight in a sink full of cold water because I’m a rebel.  Then chop the carrot and peppers and put them in the fridge. In the morning before you go to work, put the pork in the slow cooker with the cumin, chile, salt, and water. Turn on to LOW. If possible, have your kids unplug the slow cooker when they get home in the mid-afternoon so the pork can cool slightly before you get there.

If not, unplug the slow cooker as soon as you get home. Lift out the meat with tongs and set it in a bowl to cool.

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Dice the potatoes. Add the peppers, carrots, and potato to the dutch oven with a little olive oil and saute just until softened. Add the salsa verde, hominy, and the pork stock from the slow cooker. Add just enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Shred the pork and remove any bones and gristle. Add the pork to the pot, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Taste a potato to make sure it’s cooked. Add salt, pepper, powdered chile, or cumin if necessary. I like serving this with cheese quesadillas that I make while the posole is simmering, and plenty of sour cream and fresh limes to squeeze over the top.

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