Beef Pozole (Hearty Beef Soup)

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Total Recipe Time:  2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours
Makes 6 servings

2-1/2 pounds beef Stew Meat, cut into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped white onion
5 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 cans (14 to 14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 can (29 ounces) hominy, drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 sprig fresh epazote or 1 tablespoon dried epazote leaves, crushed (optional)
2 small zucchini, chopped (2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Lime wedges, chopped fresh cilantro, crisp tortilla strips, sliced onion, crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco, cotija or anejo), sour cream (optional)
1.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Brown 1/3 of beef; remove from stockpot. Repeat twice with remaining beef adding oil as needed. Remove beef from stockpot; season with salt.
2.Add onion and jalapeños to stockpot; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, hominy, tomatoes and epazote, if desired. Return beef to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
3.Add zucchini and 1/4 cup cilantro; continue to simmer 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender. If using fresh epazote, remove and discard stem and any large leaves.
4.Serve with toppings, if desired.

Cook's Tip:  Epazote is a pungent herb common in Mexican cooking. It is available fresh or dried and can be found in Hispanic markets and occasionally in the produce section of large supermarkets or specialty stores.

Cook's Tip:  To make crisp tortilla strips, cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Place strips in single layer on baking sheet. Spray tortilla strips lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven 4 to 8 minutes or until crisp.

Cook's Tip:  The word “pozole” refers to the hominy in this Mexican stew. Hominy is made from dried corn kernels that have been soaked in an alkali solution to remove the hull and germ and are then boiled until soft and puffy.

Nutritional Information
Nutrition information per serving: 403 calories; 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 1308 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 6.7 g fiber; 32 g protein; 3.9 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.2 mg iron; 23.2 mcg selenium; 7.6 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of niacin and iron.
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