Editor’s note: The photos were taken on two different days because I was so twitterpated cooking with my sister-in-law, that my camera settings were crazy bad. That meant I made this twice within the same week! Posole’, anyone?
Have you ever eaten something during the holidays and only the holidays? And then, you don’t eat it again for years and years and years? This is what happened to me and my love of Posole’. My sister-in-law, Lea, always made this for our family Christmas parties and I would chow down on it. In fact, the whole family devoured it because we only got it at Christmas time. People would mention Posole’ to me in the summer and I would be…you’re kidding, right? Posole’ is a Christmas thing, dude. Get it straight.
But things happen and posole’ disappeared from my holidays. Last year at Christmas, my nieces and nephews were discussing eating this dish and my mouth began to water. I also began to stalk my sister-in-law and beg her to teach me her Posole’ magic.
I eventually had to ransom some IT time into the request. I’ll show you how to do this on your computer if you teach me the art of Posole. At that point, I had her. We made a cooking date and she came over to my house. But, she said, you need to have the magic ingredients. Ah…what? Eye of newt, toe of frog? I know magic is magic, but what do I need, oh, Goddess of Posole?
I needed this:
You see, not just any store-bought chile powder would do. I needed to order on-line (www.chimayotogo.com) this brand of powder from New Mexico. That’s right. New Mexico. Things just got real. And I ordered the mild kind, too, not even knowing it was mild. I was going for the hot stuff but got this instead. Next time, though…..watch out.
So, once my super secret magic powder arrived in a box filled with glitter, unicorn smiles, and sparkles, I was ready to apprentice at Lea’s side.
She learned this recipe from her mom who learned it from her mom who learned it from Merlin.
Here is most of the ingredients because…well, this is a recipe that you need some kitchen knowledge. Like how to make a roux. You need flour, right? It is not listed on the ingredients and not shown, but we used it later. And I had set up my ingredient shot before we started cooking. So here it is…mostly.
You need to start with PIG. Pork loin, pork shoulder (Boston butt), or even country style spareribs (I’ll explain later).
Whatever cut you decide upon, brown it up in a pan with a little olive oil. While it’s browning, drain your hominy and rinse. Back in the old days, you couldn’t get hominy already prepared and in the can like this (who knew, right?) And the hominy would need to rinsed 4-5 times and then cooked until soft, about 5 hours. That was an all day thing. And truth be told, this first time I made it, I only used one can of hominy. The second and third time I made it, I used two cans. Trust me. Use a minimum of two cans 28 ounces each. Pour the hominy in the large pot or crock pot, if you’re doing it that way. You can you know. It’s the easiest way. Once the pork is browned on all sides, add it to the hominy. Chop up one medium onion, one garlic clove and add that to the pot as well. Add 1/4 teaspoon oregano, fresh, and one tablespoon of ground cumin.
And now….for my final trick!
Nothin’ up my sleeve!
Posole’ chile magic is about to happen. Remember that pot you browned your pork into? Add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Heat the pan on medium and right before it starts to smoke, add 3 heaping tablespoons of the chile powder and one tablespoon of white flour. Mix together. The roux will get very thick and now add one cup of water to the pan, incorporating the red chile/flour mixture. Once it starts to bubble, add three more cups of water to it and let it come to a slow rolling boil. It will thicken. The smell will implant itself into your cerebral cortex and you will never be the same again. Someone will say ‘Posole’ and you will immediately zoom back to the very first day you tasted this dish. And you will give thanks to the Posole’ gods. And to Lea.
Once it all thickens, pour it over the pork and other ingredients in your pot/crock-pot. Stir as best you can at this point. If you’re cooking it in a pot, cover the pot and let simmer for two hours. Stir and let simmer another 1-2 hours depending on how hot your simmer is. If is starts to get too thick, just add a cup of water to it to thin it out again. It can be soupy if you like or very thick, enough to stand a fork in; whatever style you prefer. Once the meat starts to fall apart when you stir the ingredients, it is done. Chop up some fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over your portion.
And a huge, huge thank you to my most wonderful sis-in-law, Lea. I love you bunches.
Lea’s Posole’ — Hominy Stew
1 pork loin, or Boston Butt, or pork shoulder, or pork country style spareribs.
2 cans, 29 oz each, prepared hominy
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
3 heaping tablespoons Rancho de Chimayo red chile powder
1 tablespoon flour
4 cups water
Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
Brown pork in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Drain and rinse hominy. (This method is for crock-pot) Place pork and hominy in crock-pot. Chop up both onion and garlic and add to the top of pork. Chop up fresh oregano. Add it and the cumin to the crock-pot as well.
In pan that browned the pork, add one more tablespoon of olive oil and turn to medium heat. Add three heaping tablespoons of chile powder and one tablespoon of flour. Mix well and add one cup of water. The roux will be very thick. Add three more cups of water and let it come to a rolling boil. It will thicken more and then pour it all on top of the ingredients in the crock-pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or until meat falls apart. Dish up into a bowl and sprinkle cilantro on top.