Slow Cooker Pozole

By Crystal Northcott

I’ve always enjoyed eating inexpensively. As I’ve returned to school while working full-time, I find time a very precious commodity. I’ve been eating inexpensively while sacrificing good nutrition for the convenience of fast food. I decided to purchase a slow cooker in the hope that I could make better dinners without an inordinate commitment of time while gaining nutrition and flavor. Last week, I cooked several recipes and decided to share one of my favorites. In my mind, the best slow cooked meals are convenient, requiring less than 15 minutes preparation. Also, the best slow cooked meals are flexible and tasty, allowing one to use whatever is on hand. I like this recipe because I think it maintains an authentic taste.

Now to meet the preparation time of 15 minutes, I had to do cut some corners to adapt the following recipe but I don’t think I compromised the recipe overall. I used canned stocks and canned hominy which saves lots of time. Additionally I blended the chili pepper with cooled stock after I boiled it in the chicken stock to speed up its softening rather than let it soak for 30 minutes before blending. In retrospect, I could have just soaked the chili overnight in warm water.
The recipe is as follows:

North Seattle Poor Student Pozole:
Makes about 4 servings. Ingredients:pozole

  • 1 small pasilla chili
  • 1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
  • ½ pound pork shoulder
  • ½ pound chicken thigh
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 table spoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 15 ounce can of hominy
  • Slow cooker
  • Chef’s knife
  • Can opener
  • Colander
  • One sauce pan
  • One cutting board
Garnish with thinly sliced radishes and cabbage, as well as, lime and cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.
  1. Remove the stem from the passila chili. Place chili and the can of chicken stock in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
  2. Don’t watch the pot boil because you only have 15 minutes to prepare the soup.
  3. While stock is coming to a boil, open the can of beef broth, the can of hominy and the green chilies.
  4. Place hominy in a colander, rinse with cold water and place in the slow cooker.
  5. Place can of green chilies in the slow cooker.
  6. Place the half of the can of beef broth in the blender and the rest of the beef stock in the slow cooker.
  7. Chop the onion into a dice. I always chop my vegetables before my meat because the fat of meats allows for vegetables to slide on cutting surfaces which I find unsafe when using a knife. And I don’t like to wash my cutting board unnecessarily. Toss the onion into the slow cooker.
  8. Toss the garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and cumin into the slow cooker. I use garlic that’s already crushed so I don’t have to peel and crush. But you can do this with a knife’s edge and smashing it down over and over.
  9. Chop up the pork and chicken into bit sized pieces. Place in slow cooker.
  10. In this step, you take the pasilla chili out of the boiling broth. Add the chili to the blender with the cool beef stock and blend. I use the cool stock in the blender to avoid the mess and pain that can occur from trying to blend hot stock. As the hot stock releases vapor, it can cause steam to vent and spray, making a mess and causing pain. As you can tell, I have some experience with the disasters that can occur from taking too many short cuts.
  11. Poor hot chicken stock into the slow cooker.
  12. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
When I came home, the smell of the pozole filled my apartment. I was glad to sit down to a warm bowl of pozole, tweaking its contents with cabbage, cilantro and lime. I prefer my radishes on the side. I rolled up and dipped the warm tortillas into the soup. To me this soup has it all, convenience, economy and flavor. I could see adding a variety of beans to extend the soup or tossing in some crushed tomatoes or left-over vegetables I might have in the refrigerator.

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