Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pork and Hominy Stew with Red Chilies (Pozole Rojo)

I'm going on vacation to Burning Man and the end of the month. While I am going to be gone my mother in law is coming to stay with my husband to help him take care of the kids. This is all fine and good, but the idea of her cooking them dinner and keeping them from destroying the apartment at the same time doesn't seem likely. So, for the next few days I'm going to make a few extra meals and freeze most of it for later. I've never cooked with hominy or guajillo chilies. But I love corn and pork is the best, so I have high hopes.

1 large head garlic
4 lb country-style pork ribs (not lean)
12 cups cold water
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
6 dried New Mexico or guajillo red chiles* (2 oz)
1 1/2 cups boiling-hot water
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion (1 large)
1 tablespoon salt
4 (15-oz) cans white hominy (also called pozole), drained and rinsed

Accompaniments: fried tortilla strips (see cooks' note, below); 1/2-inch cubes of California avocado; thinly sliced cabbage or lettuce; chopped white onion; chopped radishes; lime wedges; crumbled dried oregano (preferably Mexican); dried hot red pepper flakes

Peel garlic and reserve 2 whole cloves, then slice remaining cloves. Combine sliced garlic, pork, water, and broth in a 7- to 8-quart heavy pot and bring to a boil, skimming froth. Add oregano, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, skimming occasionally, until pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, discard stems from chiles (do not seed), then soak in boiling-hot water (1 1/2 cups) in a bowl, turning occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes (do not drain). Purée chiles with soaking water, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and reserved garlic cloves in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

Transfer pork with tongs to a large bowl, reserving broth in pot. Shred pork, using 2 forks (discard bones). Return pork to broth, then add hominy, chile purée, and remaining teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, skimming froth and stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Season with salt. 3Serve pozole in shallow bowls with accompaniments.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Holy good. This stuff is the shit. I added a cube of chix. bouillon and I think that helped. Hominy is some tasty stuff. It was really easy and country ribs are cheap meat.

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