The first time I had posole, a Mexican pork stew, was at my friend Liz’s house a few years ago. She and Walter are from Colorado and served this after an art gallery opening of Walter’s, and some of Liz’s, artwork. I could not stop eating it.
It’s time-consuming to make, so I usually start cutting things up a day or two before, to make it easier to get started with the cooking. Once everything is together in the pot, it simmers for a couple of hours and makes the house smell really good The pork becomes buttery soft and the broth is full of flavor. Delicious. I like to serve it with cheese and roasted red pepper quesadillas, for a little crunch, and of course, margaritas.
Pork & Tomatillo Posole
4 pounds pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite sized pieces
Coarse alt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola or corn oil
2 yellow onions, diced
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked, cored and chopped
4 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon, dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
8 cups chicken stock
2 cans hominy
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Garnishes (posole is traditionally served with these garnishes; I just serve with some lime wedges)
1/4 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
10 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add about 1/3 of the pork in an even layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown pork on both sides, making sure to get them nice and golden. Remove the browned pork to a medium bowl, then add another 1/3 of the pork, season and continue till all the pork is browned and in the bowl.
Add the onions and a large pinch of salt to the pot. Saute for about five minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and oregano and continue to cook for another few minutes to soften the vegetables.
Add the reserved pork, pork juices and chicken stock to the pot. Cover it, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove the lid, turn the heat to low and simmer until the pork is tender and starting to fall apart, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the hominy for the last half hour.
Stir in the cilantro and taste. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the garnishes.