When the weather turns cold, I’m ripe for anything warm, spicy and soupy. One of my favorite simple recipes is Mexican Posole (pronounced po-zo-lay), a delicious mixture of stewed pork or other meats, hominy, chiles and lots of fresh healthy garnishes. Posole is traditionally served at Christmastime and also often on the menu at Mexican restaurants on weekends because it is believed to be a terrific hangover cure! Here’s my favorite recipe:
Serves 12 generously. A classic Mexican home recipe that can be made with pork, chicken, goat, etc. The salsa Colorado can also be stirred into the stew before serving. 2 small white onions, peeled and halved 6 large peeled garlic cloves 2 large bay leaves Salt and freshly ground pepper 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes 2 29-ounce cans white posole (hominy) drained and thoroughly rinsed Salsa Colorado (recipe follows) Garnishes: 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage, 2 bunches finely sliced radishes, 2 cups finely diced white onion 1/2 cup dried Mexican oregano* 2 large avocados, peeled, seeded and diced Cilantro sprigs Lime wedges Add onions, garlic cloves, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 3-1/2 quarts water to a large deep pot and bring to a boil. Add the pork and bring back to the simmer. Skim off scum for the first 20 minutes or so. Cover and simmer until meat is very tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Add the hominy and bring to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with the salsa and other garnishes, each guest adding what they like. *Available at Mexican markets and spice shops Salsa Colorado 8 Guajillo chiles, seeds and stems removed 6 Chiles de Arbol, stems removed 3 large peeled garlic cloves 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried Mexican* oregano 2 tablespoons white vinegar Salt to taste In a small skillet, toast the guajillos over moderately high heat until toasted in spots and set aside. In the same skillet toast the chiles de arbol until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them or they will become bitter. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the chiles and off heat let them soak for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove chiles from the water and put in a blender along with the garlic, cumin, oregano, vinegar, salt to taste and add enough of the soaking water to make a smooth salsa. Can be made ahead and stored refrigerated for 3 days.