During a visit to Number One Daughter and Favorite Son-in-Law in Tucson, we went to this cool food co-op (Food Conspiracy: http://www.foodconspiracy.org/) , and I got some dried hominy and other goodies.
Little Winnie (their Number Two dog, a chow chow) had to stay outside the store at a bistro table and entertain the Tucsonians. So, while we shopped, Winnie and Mr. Artifact lounged outside and must have wondered what we were doing. Fortunately, her mom and dad like posole and might even give her some leftover pork.
First order of business: how in the heck do you pronounce this stuff? Po-SO-lay with the main emphasis on the middle syllable. Just imagine you’re in England, where all the middle sylLAbles get the emPHAsis.
Second order of business: what the heck is hominy? Hominy is the kernel of the corn with the bran and the germ removed through a process of soaking the kernel in a caustic medium, such as lye. The kernel is then dried and used whole (for dishes like posole) or ground (for dishes like grits). It originates from Native American food practices and is an especially good storage product. If you want to know more, check out this information on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominy Hominy looks like a corn nut and can be very chewy if not cooked thoroughly (which is why I had to serve it the next day when I tried to make the posole!).
So, here’s to Winnie’s Posole! Made from a Native American grain, in a dish perfected by the Mexicans, enjoyed by anyone with a taste bud worth a peso, pronounced like a Brit, and endorsed by a Chinese dog. Oy vez! What a misgebotten dish! (my Jewish/Pennsylvania Dutch sneaking in here).
This recipe is for about four hungry people or six foodies pretending to be on a diet. Imagine you just came in from cross country skiing and you are having this with a cerveza and a lime! Or a nice glass of Cupcake Vineyard sauvignon blanc.
- 1 ½ C hominy (dried) (if using canned, omit the soaking and long 2-4 hour simmer) Hint: while it sounds so romantic to use the dried corn, it is a major deal to cook it long enough, so I would not be ashamed to use canned—I will next time!)
- 1 ½ lb pork butt (shoulder)
- 4-6 C chicken or beef broth
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ tomato, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 T bacon grease or olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ diced chipotle pepper plus one teaspoon adobo from the can (from canned Embasa brand chipotle pepper in adobe sauce) This stuff is hot so proceed gradually with caution!
- SPICES—crush in a mortar (or use ground)
- 1 t cumin seeds
- ½ t anise seeds
- 1 t coriander seeds (1/2 t if ground)
- 3 whole cloves (a pinch if ground)
- 3 whole allspice (a pinch if ground)
- 1 t Mexican oregano
- 2 t salt (kosher)
- 4 sliced radishes
- 3 diced green onions
- lemon or lime in wedges
- 1 C shredded green cabbage
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 avocado sliced
- SERVE WITH Warm corn tortillas
Directions The day before: brown pork butt, add salt and pepper and then bake covered in 325 oven for 3-5 hours until it shreds away in tender pieces. When done, set aside/refrigerate. Overnight soak the hominy in water to cover. Drain, then cook for 2-3 hours until chewy. You could do this at the same time your pork butt is cooking. If you are using canned hominy, skip this step and decrease hominy cook time below to 30 minutes.
To make: Sauté onions, garlic, tomatoes and chipotle/and sauce in bacon grease. Add spices and some salt to taste when onions are translucent. Add more chipotle if you want it hotter. Add hominy. Add chicken broth, bay leaves and bring to simmer for 2-4 hours or until hominy is tender (if you use canned hominy reduce cook time to 30 min). Don’t rush it! If not tender, keep cooking and plan for it as the next day meal. This is too good to screw up. Number One Son actually likes it kind of chewy. Once tender, add pork (shred it and dump it in). Simmer for another 30 minutes or more until all the flavors combine. Important: don’t add the pre-cooked pork until your hominy is done.