Posole

This soup began with a package we received a few months ago. A glorious wedding present, it contained tons of Rancho Gordo beans and grains. This is a sign of someone who seriously knows me well (thank you, K!). We’ve been working our way through them this fall, and I couldn’t wait to make some posole with the hominy. Oh, delicious hominy, I have often been considered an odd duck because I like you so much, but it’s worth it. Serendipity smiled upon me, since the new issue of Bon Appétit featured a great recipe for this classic soup. So, a few days before Christmas, I set about cooking beans and hominy, roasting meat, and assembling my spices. The house smelled decadently delicious.

This soup starts with a slow roast of the meat: about 5-6 hours at a low heat, topped with onions and coated in spices. Yum. And just in case that picture looks creepy, don’t worry: the meat is in a Pyrex baking dish, and not directly on our counter top.

While the meat was working its magic, I cooked the pinto beans in the pressure cooker. I think our pressure cooker is just about the hardest working member of our little kitchen family, and I *love* it. Going from dried beans to dinner in 25 minutes is a magic I’ll never comprehend, but one I thank my lucky stars for.

Next, it was the hominy’s turn. I love how chewy it is when cooked–it adds a delectable texture to the soup.

By then, the meat was ready, and very easy to shred with two forks. It looked like pulled pork, and I felt a bit closer to home. Wow, I think this is the first time meat of any kind has been featured on this blog. Usually, my sweet husband takes care of it, and this was no exception, but I took over the rest of the dish:)

Once everything was ready, it was time to stir and stew it for a while, letting the flavors deepen and develop. This was our Christmas posole, and we ate it almost through New Years–it makes a big pot! We *loved* it, especially with lime, cilantro, and freshly baked tortilla chips. Even though it has been in the low 80s for the last week or so, I would still eat this soup any day and happily lick my spoon. 🙂

Posole
Slightly adapted from Bon Appétit 

Pork
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt) (*We used pork sirloin.*)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 red onion, sliced

Posole
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
6 cups water (or broth, if you like)
1 28-ounce can undrained pinto beans (about 1 1/2 to 2 c dried pinto beans)
1 28-ounce can white hominy, drained (about 1 lb. dried hominy)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices, puréed in blender until smooth
1 tablespoon oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shredded mild cheddar
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Pork
-Preheat oven to 275°. Line a small roasting pan with foil. Mix cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Rub spice mix all over pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork in pan and cover with sliced onion. Pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of pan. Cover pan tightly with foil and roast until meat is very tender, 5–6 hours. Let pork rest until cool enough to handle.
-Using 2 forks, shred pork into bite-size pieces. Skim fat from juices in roasting pan; reserve meat. 

Posole
-Heat oil in a large pot over medium- low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the diced fresh tomatoes and stir until softened, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in broth and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
-Add reserved pork to posole. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes longer for flavors to meld. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved juices from roast pork, if desired. Divide among bowls, garnish with shredded cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges, and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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