Monday, July 26, 2010

A Monster a Mother Could Love

It must have been the feeling that Dr. Frankenstein had when he first imagined making life. Unfortunately his creation was made from the stitched-together parts of dead bodies and he, like Prometheus mentioned in the subtitle to Mary Shelley's novel, was punished for his affront to the deity.

My creation, much less gruesome, much more tasty, was stitched together from two different recipes and would, with luck, only please any deity that checked in from on high.

I was pining for posole and its rich, corny flavor again, but this time I wanted to make it using a verde sauce rather than the posole rojo I'd done before. Then I remembered an easy tomatillo sauce that had absolutely killed in some enchiladas verde I made last year. Plus I had some leftover roasted tomatillos in the freezer that I could tell were reaching their "use by" date.

The result? Rave reviews from angels, archangels and prophets (i.e. our friends and neighbors). This would be fantastic topped with crema or sour cream, sprinkled with cilantro and served with tortillas and rice, or spooned into tacos with the same, and it would freeze well, too. So make plenty. You never know when a hungry deity or two might be passing by.

Posole Verde

For the posole:
12 oz. dried posole or hominy
Salt to taste
3-4 lbs. pork shoulder cut in 1 1/2" cubes
Juice of 1 lime

For the roasted tomatillo chile salsa:
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 yellow onion, peeled, sliced and quartered
4 garlic cloves
2 ancho chiles, roasted, skins removed, stemmed and seeded
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced
Additional cilantro and lime wedges for serving at the table

Put dried posole into non-reactive bowl or Dutch oven and cover with water. Soak overnight. Drain posole and put back in Dutch oven in enough salted water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer for at least 2 hours until softened.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, quartered onion and garlic for 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the roasted chiles, cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still a little chunky. Add more salt to taste.

Add meat and tomatillo sauce to cooked hominy in Dutch oven and stir to combine, adding more water if needed. Bring to a boil on the stove, then lower heat and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until meat can be mashed with a wooden spoon. Stir in lime juice and serve with rice and tortillas.


Anonymous said...

Love the Posole Verde recipe - we make a similar one using green tomatoes in late fall. The main difference is that I like to braise the shoulder first, then use the now pork stock (chilled & skimmed when possible) as the soup base. (Pork brisket is especially well-suited for posole.) There's a posole rojo recipe that describes the general process in a little more detail.

Aaron Silverman
Tails & Trotters

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks for the info, Aaron! It's great when you can make this ahead of time, since it's one of those dishes that's as good, if not better, the next day. My problem is that once I smell it cooking, I can't wait to dig in!