Thursday, December 29, 2016

Posole by an Irish Girl who Married a Mexican Man

Posole is one of my husband's favorite meals.  I remember eating it for the first time on Christmas day several years ago.  My mother-in-law had made a big pot and it smelled fantastic.  She ladled up big bowlfuls and we added an assortment of toppings: shredded cabbage, chopped radishes, lime juice, tostadas and queso fresco.  It was like nothing I had ever tasted and I loved the crisp, cold of the cabbage with the spicy soup loaded with pork and maize blanco (hominy) offset by the tart lime and salty, crunchy tostada.

After that initial taste, I tried to make it myself and failed miserably. It tasted nothing like my mother-in-law's posole. She is one of the best cooks I know and just a natural in the kitchen.  The second try was a little better and I slowly improved.

That brings us to today.  I finally made my posole JUST RIGHT.  Not sure if it was my new, huge 9 quart Dutch oven (Christmas gift from husband) or a random recipe success....but it was pretty darn delicious.  I did deviate and use a lean tenderloin as the shoulder can be so fatty and require trimming.  I was unsure if it would lend the same flavor and not end up terribly dry, but it was ok!

Remember, I am not great at measuring exact quantities, so adjust as needed:

3-4 pounds pork tenderloin
2 onions, chopped
2 Tbs. garlic
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, 1 tsp. sauce
1 Tbs. Mexican oregano
6-8 cups chicken stock
1 can tomato sauce
Big can maize blanco/hominy (108 oz)
dried chilies of your choice, stems removed
salt and pepper

Saute onion in olive oil until softened.  Add pork and turn on all sides to lightly sear.  Toss in garlic, chipotle pepper, sauce, dried chilies, tomato sauce, stock and seasonings.  Set lid on top and let cook on medium low heat for 2 hours, making sure it does not boil.  Add maize blanco and taste to adjust seasonings.  Cook on low another hour.

Serve with shredded cabbage, chopped radishes, oregano, tostadas, cilantro, queso fresco and fresh lime wedges.

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