Pozole and Tortillas for a California Missions project #WeekendCooking

In California, fourth graders in public schools do a research project on the California missions. Coincidentally, my 9yo got assigned the same Mission as his older brother, the Santa Clara de Asís, located in Santa Clara University. His older brother did a diorama of the Mission, but honestly, that was such a pain to do, having to help measure and draw and cut and paint and glue etc etc etc…

So I gently nudged the 9yo towards something else on the teacher’s list. Luckily he was happy to try out the cookbook. The project was to research about the food eaten at missions and to write a cookbook with at least two recipes of the foods. We looked it up together and I realised that Pozole, a kind of meat and hominy soup/stew, is actually quite manageable. And he wanted to try making tortillas too.

This is the Pozole Roja recipe we used. We also watched this Youtube video together. The whole wheat tortilla recipe came from Isabel Eats, which was convenient because I didn’t have shortening and this one just used oil.

I picked up about 3 pounds of pork shoulder from the supermarket. Luckily, managed to order the dried ancho and guajillo chillies, as well as the can of hominy, from Weee!

As this was the first time cooking with these chillies, I wasn’t sure if it would be spicy. So instead of the four and five chillies used, I halved it. But these chillies actually weren’t spicy at all.

Cut the pork shoulder and put it in a pot of water to boil for about an hour. Skim off the scum and fat.
The chillies have to be soaked in boiling hot water for about 15 minutes, then blended. I had forgotten to add the garlic and shallots to the chillies. Some recipes call for the chilli mixture to be added straight to the boiling pork. But others say to cook it down a bit for 30 minutes. I decided that I might as well cook it a bit more before adding to the pork. After adding it to the pork, cook for another hour.
I was curious about hominy but it turns out to be dried corn kernels treated with alkali to strip and soften the corn. We drained the can and rinsed the hominy before adding it to the pot and cooking for 45 more minutes. Finally the pork was super tender after some 3 hours of cooking.

Kneading the dough for tortillas.

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