The downstairs freezer is killing me. Sally and I visit it every morning while we do our errands around the house, and every morning I am amazed to find that there is still something in there. I mean really? We have been eating heart and liver and stewed rhubarb and crushed tomatoes and so on—something from down there—every day since January. How is it possible that there are still green beans in there from 2010? Sally is not impressed.
Thankfully, every once in a while, the icy depths dole out something we really need. I spent a long time the other day making hominy out of dried Oaxacan Green dent corn from our grain CSA. I soaked it, boiled it with lime, then kneaded the skins off and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed until finally the water came clean. Then I started looking for a dinner recipe, and I came across one for posole with pork and chipotle. (As far as I can tell, the word posole can be used to mean a stew made from pork and hominy or can just mean the cooked corn, hominy, itself.) I was sure we'd gone through all our pork and had finished the last of the frozen crushed tomatoes, but lo and behold, the freezer coughed up not only a pork shoulder but also a final quart of last summer's tomatoes from the garden.
I was simultaneously disgusted and delighted. More delighted, I suppose, once I tasted the stew.
POSOLE WITH PORK SHOULDER AND CHIPOTLE
I've tweaked this recipe a fair amount from one I found in Whole Grains Every Day Every Way by Lorna Sass. It sounds odd, but it tastes like a tortilla in soup form. It's very hearty and delicious.
1 pound pork shoulder, on the bone
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 cups cooked hominy
2 tablespoons fresh minced oregano
2 large bay leaves
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
4 cups water
1-2 tablespoons chipotle powder or rub
fresh cilantro, for garnish
yogurt or sour cream, for garnish
Get out a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Rinse the pork, pat it dry, and rub it with salt and pepper. Heat up the olive oil in the pot over high heat and brown the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer it to a plate and set it aside.
Turn the heat down to medium-high. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and tomato paste cook another minute, then stir in the hominy, oregano, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, red wine, water, and chipotle powder. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.
Put the pork back in the pot and scoot it around so that it's covered with liquid. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, until the sauce starts to get thick and the pork is so tender it's falling off the bone. Serve hot with cilantro and yogurt.