Live Real. Eat Real.

Red Posole

Well, here we are!  Welcome to the first recipe of 2010, and a new format (well, for me anyway) of presenting recipes.  ‘Cause the whole food photography thing is beginning to become an obsession.  I just hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Anyhoo.

First, just let me apologize to a few people (most notably Jen, Michele and Erin):  This recipe has pork in it.  A LOT of pork.  It is just chock-full of tasty pork goodness.

I was cruisin’ the net last week, wondering what to cook over the New Year’s holiday besides the requisite black-eyed peas (which turned out really well this year) and cornbread, when I came across this recipe for another “good luck” food, commonly eaten in the southwest as well as Mexico.  And as I read it, my mouth began to water and I thought to myself, “Oh, I am SO makin’ that!”  So I did, on New Year’s Eve.

And it was GOOD.  Really, really good.   Loaded with spices, flavorful chilies and chewy hominy, the first thing it made me think of was the menudo my former mother-in-law used to make rather frequently, without the nasty tripe and the awful smell the tripe made while cooking.  (Let me just say, nasty tripe and awful smell aside, I like menudo.  As long as I don’t have to smell it cooking or actually eat the tripe.)  In fact, the posole smelled absolutely marvelous while it cooked – almost as good as it tasted.

The original recipe called for lime juice and cilantro, but the store was out of almost every fresh spice they carry (which will teach me to shop for something like this at the last minute on New Year’s Eve) and while I had the lime, I forgot to use it.  Trust me, we didn’t miss it at all.  In fact, the original recipe specified several things I couldn’t find here in Podunk – New Mexico chilies, ham hocks and Mexican oregano, for example – so I made several substitutions, none of which seemed to hurt the flavor at all.  I served it with warm corn tortillas (it would probably go well with some good, hearty tortilla chips, as well) and Beloved loved it so much he called it a “new favorite.”

So, I guess I’ll be making it again.  (It makes a lot, but reheats really well.)

Red Posole

serves 8

4 standard-size cans of hominy, drained

1 1/2 pounds lean pork, cubed

1 medium onion, diced

8 cloves of garlic, minced

8 slices premium, thick-sliced bacon, chopped and divided

4 cups of water

2 cans low-sodium beef broth

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons chile powder

5 large dried red chilies (I used ancho chilies)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, cook half the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until brown and almost crisp; remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.  Lower heat slightly and add the chopped onion to the bacon fat in the pot; cook, stirring frequently, until soft – about 7 minutes.   Add the cubed pork and cook, stirring frequently, until the pork is mostly browned.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Pour the water and beef broth into the pot, and add all of the bacon (both the cooked and uncooked), the oregano, cumin, ground cloves and chili powder.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover.

Heat a dry, cast iron skillet over high heat; one at a time, add the dried chilies, turning frequently, until flexible – take care not to burn them.  While each chile is still flexible, cut off the stem and slit it lengthwise; remove the seeds.  Add the seeded chilies to a bowl of very hot water and soak until soft, about 20 – 30 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup of the water used to soften the chilies, then drain the chilies and add them and the reserved soaking water to a blender and process to a smooth puree.  Stir the puree into the pot with the pork.

Continue cooking for another 1½ to 2 hours, until the pork is almost tender enough to be pierced with a fork.  Add the drained hominy; taste and adjust the spices and add salt and pepper.  Cook for another hour or so, or until the pork is fork tender.

Serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, sliced avocado and warm corn tortillas, if desired.


16 comments

Erin says:

Wow – that food photography thing is pretty cool. Although…that? I couldn’t eat. I did eat a few chicken-enhanced things over vacation and lived to tell about it. Perhaps I am on the way to recovery.

Thank you for thinking of me, dear.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..sugar haze =-.

Mo says:

Sorry about that, if I’d known you were on your way to the store I wouldn’t have nicked all those spices.

Pippa says:

That looks tasty, but I have no idea what hominy is…. even after the Wiki search I did!
.-= Pippa´s last blog ..Top Ender Giggles – A Bit of Roughage? =-.

LPC says:

Numaphonic! And in California we NEVER run out of cilantro. Just representing.
.-= LPC´s last blog ..10 Things That Make Me Happy, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:10am. In 2010. =-.

Mrsbear says:

I have a friend who makes it with the pork neck and all, it’s delicious. We usually have it topped with crushed corn chips, sour cream, shredded cabbage and some fresh salsa. Makes quite the meal. I might have to try your version, it would be perfect for the cooler weather.
.-= Mrsbear´s last blog ..Welcome 2010 and Nothing at All =-.

I’ve never once eaten hominy. I wonder why?
.-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..San Clemente =-.

Pseudo says:

Wow Jan, this sounds so so good and Mexican food is my favorite. You would have fit right in at the pot luck I went to which was Mexican food themed.

Love your photos you talented lady you.
.-= Pseudo´s last blog ..New Year’s Eve on Oahu =-.

Apology accepted, and looking forward to your next pork -er, post. :-)
.-= Sprite’s Keeper´s last blog ..HASAY: If you’re looking for ways to help a diet, this is NOT worth it. =-.

I’m so going to make this….
.-= Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt´s last blog ..Keep Moving Forward =-.

Gretchen says:

Love, love, love the pictures. I always enjoy knowing what it’s supposed to look like when I’m finished!
.-= Gretchen´s last blog ..Resolution Amendment =-.

This looks really good. I’ve never had it either.
.-= Maureen@IslandRoar´s last blog ..New Year’s Eve =-.

Beth says:

Your pictures are just amazing! I’m truly impressed.

And I love posole – though we always make it with chicken (you know, being Jewish and all…). This sounds like a great recipe!
.-= Beth´s last blog ..Irregardless of your time, can we just take a minute to conversate? =-.

Look at you with your mad photography skills! I refrained from licking my monitor on the raw meat though… ;)

I’m definitely marking this down for a future try – sounds delicious!! :)
.-= Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)´s last blog ..We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program =-.

OTIN says:

You like working that “Flying Fuck” into a post almost as much as I like using Cock references! LOL!

I was looking back on my site and you actually were a commenter starting in month 4!

I have a problem with following right now. If you have a follow button, I can follow. If you do not, then I google will not let me add anymore. Stick around until I get this figured out! :))
.-= OTIN´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts (And an out of tune 80′s song for Jules) =-.

I have to admit that this recipe didn’t sound so great to me but because of your pics, I’m totally convinced. Glad you’re having so much fun with your new toy.

Anything that has ancho chilis in it can’t be bad. I’m not a fan of hominy myself, so I’d try to substitute with a shoepeg corn or something. Thanks for sharing!
.-= ~The South Dakota Co´s last blog ..Girl Envy =-.

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