I mean really?

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.


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.


Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I think your freezer and my freezer are in league. We've still got some frozen striped bass from last year as we're catching the first fish of this season.

People sneak into our houses and fill them while we're sleeping.

dulciana said...

Miss Sally does suitable unimpressed!

Thanks, Elspeth, for including her here. That expression is priceless!

And good luck with scraping the bottom of the barrel with that freezer. I do find some scary and unidentifiable things in my own from time to time, to say nothing of the refrigerator. Am wondering whether the locavore light cream I froze sometime last summer might still have possibilities without endangering the members of the household!

dulciana said...

I'm sorry, I should have typed that Miss Sally does look suitably unimpressed!

Elspeth said...

Tamar, I think you may be right. Either that or we are both crazy!

Dulciana, not sure about the cream, but it seems worth a try. And yes, the fridge can be equally scary.



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