Last week’s cool, rainy weather turned this kat’s thoughts to posole–or pork stew with hominy. What’s hominy, you ask–corn that’s been processed to remove the hull and germ. It kinda looks like chick peas. And it’s very tasty in a stew!

If you’re headed to a Latino grocery store to pick some up, you might want to know it by another name or two: pozole or mote. When I walked into Los Primos and asked for posole, I was first met with a puzzled look.
“But I know I bought it here before,” I explained.
“Mami, wait,” the man said, as he headed off,  in search of.
So mami waited. While I did, I spied the familiar cans on a back shelf and smiled.
“See, I knew you had it!”
“Mote,” the man said–just as the label read–“Mote Blanco.” Two cans, por favor.

I made this for the first time earlier this year–and my version traveled all the way to Maine for an interstate posole throwdown (remember, Marco?!). I wanna say I won, but I think it was a tie. I’m proud to say my Yankee version was noted for its depth of flavor…and I must share, it’s one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made. You definitely want to try this one!

POSOLE
inspired by a recipe from THE MINIMALIST: Mark Bittman

extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of THE BIGGEST pot you have
3 – 3.25 pounds boneless pork shoulder*, trimmed of fat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon Adobo (I use Penzey’s)
1 large sweet onion diced (plus additional onion for garnish)
6 cups water
1 12-oz. bottle beer (I’ve used Abita Raspberry Wheat or a hefeweizen)
2 14-oz. cans hominy (do not drain)
7 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons epazote
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried cilantro
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 chipotles in adobe sauce, cut into small pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon salt
1 28-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes (minus 4-6 tomatoes you can use for another recipe)

*My personal shopper (thanks, Ma) picked up a bone-in picnic shoulder for me this round. It was harder to cut, but certainly works just fine.

Fixin’s (any combination of the following):
fresh cilantro
diced sweet yellow onion
sliced lime
diced avocado
grated sharp cheddar
tortilla chips

READY TO GET COOKIN’?
Sprinkle adobo over pork. Coat the bottom of the biggest pot you own (I use my large pasta pot) with olive oil. Bring to medium heat, add onions. Add pork and stir to sear the chunks just a bit. Pour beer over pork and onions. Add six cups water, hominy and its liquid, peppercorns, epazote, oregano, chipotles, cumin, garlic, lime, salt and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes and crush. Cook covered until pork is tender. Two hours does the trick nicely. Anything longer than that just keeps making the house smell delicious. When you can’t wait any longer, get those fixin’s (!) ready…chop your onions, score your avocado, make a pretty plate with the cilantro and have plenty of cheese so everyone can make their bowls their own. Did you remember to make margaritas? This old Elton John tune runs through my mind every time I think of hominy–forgive me. “Hominy (!) ‘n me, we’re pretty good company…lookin’ for an island in our boat upon the sea…”

Here you have it–posole in a bowlie! Lack of daylight hours is killin’ my photography, I tell ya!

And just to let you know, in case there was any doubt:

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