Jan 14, 2008

Pozole with Ham

I accidentally ended up with two hams for Christmas! So I looked for lots of ways to use leftover ham, recipes that wouldn't make my family scream, "No more ham!!!"

I found this recipe in an old Best of Sunset that I have in my "library", and I have to say it was easy and delicious. My family loves the taste of hominy, and we don't eat it that often. In Southwest USA, hominy is often found in menudo, along with tripe. I always like Pozole growing up, because it was tasty like menudo, but without the (rubber meat) tripe.

The original recipe called for bony chicken pieces in addition to the ham. Also, instead of the spices, I added a little of the menudo spice mix I have.

This makes a clear, broth-heavy soup that tastes healthy and delicious.

12 cups chicken broth, or 2 large cans
3 lbs meaty ham hocks or leftover ham
1 tsp dry oregano leaves*
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper (like the pizza topping)*
2 lg onions, chopped
1 lg can (28 oz) yellow hominy, drained

In a 6- or 8-quart pan, combine broth with meat and spices. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until meat is tender - 1 or 2 hours. Remove meat (use a wire strainer or wrap in cheesecloth before cooking) and let cool. When the meat has cooled to the touch, remove meat and cut into chunks. Return to the pot. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Remove any fat that comes to the top. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Add the hominy, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Serve hot, and offer condiments to add to each bowl.

Suggested condiments:
Broken tortilla chips
raw onion, chopped fine
chopped cilantro