Slow cooking has become very popular in recent years. The convenience of slow cooking, which allows home cooks to begin preparing meals in the morning or afternoon and then enjoy a delicious dinner without having to put in much work after a day at the office, no doubt plays a big role in that popularity.
Slow cooking also allows home cooks to experiment with various ethnic cuisines. For those who love Mexican food and slow cooking, the following recipe for “Pork and Shrimp Posole” from Andrew Schloss’ “Cooking Slow” (Chronicle Books) makes the perfect meal.
Pork and Shrimp Posole
Makes 6 servings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
21/2 pound boneless pork shoulder (picnic ham), trimmed of most of the exterior fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fresh long red chile or serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup good-quality, low-sodium chicken broth or fish broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 15-ounce can posole (whole hominy), drained and rinsed
12 ounces large (26-30 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
3/4 cups chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 200 F.
Mix together the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a sheet of aluminum foil. Toss the pork pieces in the seasoned flour to coat completely.
In a large Dutch oven, pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom generously and place over medium-high heat. Heat until the oil is shimmering hot. Working in batches as needed to avoid crowding the pot, add the pork to the hot oil and cook to brown nicely on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the pork pieces to a plate as they are finished. When all of the pork is browned, set aside. Do not discard the remaining flour mixture.
If the pot seems dry, add more olive oil and return to medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute^a until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chile and garlic and saute^a until the garlic is aromatic, about 30 seconds more.
Add the reserved flour mixture and stir until dissolved in the oil in the pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour toasts lightly, about 1 minute. Add the broth and the tomatoes with their juices and stir to mix well. Return to a simmer and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Return the pork to the pot, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Stir in the posole. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the flavors have blended and the pork is fork-tender, about 6 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven, uncover, and stir in the shrimp and lime juice and zest. Re-cover and set aside and let the shrimp cook in the steam until firm and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.