This was our version of posole. Traditionally a soup of braised pork and hominy, I served it over rice which absorbed most of the liquid for my soup-averse husband. My boneless pork ribs braised slowly for several hours in a broth seasoned with lots of onion and garlic, a few seasonings like cumin and oregano, and a several different sorts of peppers: I finally got a chance to break out the lacto-fermented banana peppers I made back in August, and was pleased to find that the pickling process toned down the heat slightly.

While the pork braised, I also cooked pots of beans and hominy, both of which came from Rancho Gordo and had an overnight soak to soften them up. The beans were Rio Zape, and I chucked a seeded dry ancho chile in their cooking liquid to rehydrate until it was soft enough to be removed, pureed, and added to the pork.  I am sort of an anti-connoisseur, meaning I can tell you very specifically what I don’t like about a food but I have a much harder time describing their positive qualities, so I honestly could not tell you if I detected the supposed notes of coffee and chocolate in these beans, but they were very tasty with a lovely rich color and an excellent, velvety texture.

The posole was delicious and mild, which suited me. Jeremy thought I should have served it with tortillas, so apparently stepping away from the soup version could have gone further. And I’m pretty sure Nolan just ate the rice. I thought it was great, and saved some cooked hominy to try making grits too.

Castañeda Posole

3 C dried hominy
2 T oil or lard
3 C pork shoulder or boneless country ribs, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 c medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T ancho powder (I used a puree of rehydrated ancho pepper)
1 T chipotle powder or paste (or to taste… this would have been WAY too spicy for me!)
1/4 c jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (I used pickled banana pepper)
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 T salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 c stock (chicken, pork, or beef)
2 c tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped (I forgot to include this, whoops)
1/2 c cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 limes, quartered

The night before you plan to prepare the meal, soak the hominy overnight with at least two inches of water above the hominy. Drain the next day, and simmer for 2-3 hours until just tender. Drain again.

Salt and pepper the pork. Heat the oil or lard in a heavy pot until almost smoking, and brown each cube of pork well in the fat. Do not crowd. Remove each cube from pot as it’s browned. Pour off excess fat and add the onion. Sauté the onion until it’s slightly browned; add the garlic and sauté it briefly. Be sure to scrape up the fond (the brown bits) from the bottom of the pan.

Add ancho, chipotle, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper and sauté them for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and sauté them for a minute. Add the stock and pork, bring to a boil, and simmer for 2 hours, or until the pork is just tender.

Add the hominy and heat through, about ten minutes. Serve with the cilantro and lime.

Source: Chris Amarault via eGullet.

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