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Posole is one of my favorite Winter stews.  Pork and hominy slow cooked in a broth of ancho and guajillo chili’s.  Deep and rich, Que Viva Mexico!  This is not a family recipe but one that I found about five years ago from an unknown source and have adapted and changed.  I often think of my Abuela Mita and Grandpa when I start to cook traditional Mexican recipes and the kitchen starts to smell of dried chili’s reconstituting in boiling water.  Or at the Mexican grocer when I run into ingredients that I don’t fully understand how they are used, I wish I could turn to Mita and ask her. Or the smell of freshly baked Mexican sweet bread or crispy pork skin setting off the fresh scent of lard.  My grandpa ALWAYS had fried pork skin, chicharones!  How I miss my grandparents.  However, I don’t understand why I have never thought to ask my Tia Esther, the eldest of 12 siblings for Mita’s recipes.  Look out A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa readers for some authentic family Mexican recipes coming soon!

When making posole, one of the main ingredients is hominy, or field corn that has gone through the process of nixtamalization.  Usually when I make posole, I use canned hominy.  However, this time around I made my own nixtamal using yellow field corn and let me tell you, it takes FOREVER to remove the black tips from the end of the corn.  Yes, the taste was magnificent and fresh, but 2+ hours removing corn tips was just not for me.  I am more than happy finding organic hominy in a can and going that route the next time 😉  I’ll save nixtamal for tortilla’s and tamales as there is no need to remove the tips!

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Before I start on any Mexican recipe, I visit my local Mexican grocer and spend time chatting with the butchers and people that I meet from Mexico.  For this particular recipe, the spinal pieces of pork is what makes a great posole.  These pieces are small and full of cut bone that will impart more flavor to your stew and you will have the nourishing benefits of vitamins and minerals from the bone. 

Posole

Ingredients

  • 3lbs spinal pieces of pork (espina), or a bone-in pork shoulder.
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups homemade hominy or 3 cans of hominy 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, tied
  • 2 dried ancho chili’s
  • 1 dried guajillo chili
  • 1 1/2 cups of boiling water

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

2. Season your pork with salt and pepper.
3. In a large oven safe pot, heat 3 tbls EVOO.  Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and immediately add your pork.  Cook about 5-10 minutes or until both sides of pork are no longer pink.
Add broth, tomatoes, cilantro, oregano, cumin, and hominy if you have made your own nixtamal, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for a few minutes allowing fat scum to rise to the surface.  Skim off.  If using canned hominy, do not add until after it has cooked in the oven or it will disintegrate!

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Nixtamal

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After making my own nixtamal, removing the black tips, and thoroughly washing away all of the lime in 3 separate rinses, I soaked the corn for another 24 hours without lime.  So the nixtamal actually took 2 nights of soaking before I used it in my hominy.  I could have left it to soak for longer.

4. Once you have removed enough scum, cover the oven safe pot and place in the oven.  Cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender and falling apart.

5. While the stew is cooking in the oven, remove the seeds and stems from the chili’s and soak them in the boiling water for 20 minutes.
6. Puree the chili’s and water in a blender and clean the puree through a fine mesh sieve.  I use a splatter guard 😉

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7. After 2 hours, remove the meat from the pot, simmer the stew on medium heat and add the chili puree and if using canned hominy, the hominy.

8. In a separeate dish, separate the meat from the bones and with two forks shred the meat into small pieces.

9. Remove the cilantro from the stew and add the shredded meat.

10. Simmer on medium-low heat for an additional 30 minutes if using canned hominy or an hour to an hour and a half if using homemade hominy.

11. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, and freshly grated cheese!

    Buen Provecho!

      Diana is a mother of three, proud wife, and humbled daughter of God. She finds the most joy meeting with Jesus in her organic gardens. She is completely blessed to be able to call herself a stay at home mom where she home educates her children, joyfully serves her husband, and cooks nourishing, real food, for her family. She loves connecting with people on facebook, google+, pinterest, and instagram.

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