Pork Shoulder is one of my favorite cuts of meat: economical, flavorful, and low-maintenance when it comes to cooking. It’s especially handy for creating delicious slow cooker meals. Also, if you’ve never tried Ancho chile powder, I encourage you to try it in this recipe, as it’s a pepper with not much heat but tons of flavor that goes really well with pork.
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Check out another great soup: Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
This might sound blasphemous to some, but I think this version was just as good as the traditional method of making a chile sauce from dried Ancho and Guajillo chiles that are de-seeded, toasted, soaked, pureed, and then strained. Same goes for browning the meat- I was worried skipping that step would cut down on the flavor, but I couldn’t tell the difference (other than the color of the browned meat) between the version I made first browning the meat vs. this version of cooking everything all at once. Two longish-processes cut out, all of the ingredients added to the crockpot at the same time, and yet I still ended up with a delicious giant pot of soup! That made me pretty pleased with myself. ;-) The only extra step I highly recommend: if you prefer to remove some of the fat, refrigerate the cooked soup overnight and then skim the solidified grease off the top, and remove any excess fat from the pieces of pork, which will end up falling apart into tender shreds. This is the kind of soup that tastes better the next day and the day after that as the flavors meld.
Pork Posole in Slow-Cooker
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup ground Ancho chile powder or more to taste*
2 ½ lbs boneless pork shoulder (also called Boston Butt, or country style ribs), cut into small chunks
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp kosher salt or more to taste (depending how salty the broth is)
2 (25 oz cans) hominy, including the liquid
Don’t forget to place a dish of toppings on the table so everyone can add them as desired to their individual bowls of soup!
Thinly sliced red radish
Diced fresh green chile
*Ground ancho chile can be found at your local Latin grocery store and even in most major supermarkets these days, especially in the Mexican grocery aisle. Case in point: the supermarket chain I went to had a 3 oz bag of ground Ancho powder in the Mexican aisle for .99, but the 2 oz bottle of ancho powder packaged by the well-known national spice brand was $5. Guess which one I bought?
**Ancho chile powder is NOT the same thing as the product labeled ‘Chili Powder’ in the U.S. ‘Chili Powder’ is usually a blend of multiple ingredients such as cumin, oregano, garlic powder and ground chiles and the ratio of each ingredient varies widely between brands.