Happy Halloween ! ! !
"Pasole . . ."
When the Autumn chill goes straight to the bone, there's nothing better than an extra-large bowl of "posole" to warm you up.
Standard garnishes, such as, finely shredded raw cabbage or iceberg lettuce (slightly wilts down in the hot broth), sliced radishes, diced onions, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, wedges of limes, more limes and extra limes accompany the delicious concoction of chiles, savory broth, pieces of pork, pork back ribs, pig's trotters, pig's tails, and/or chicken and the ubiquitous kernals of hominy. Tostadas and homemade chile salsa complete the dish. "Posole" is a traditional Mexican stew from the region of Jalisco and is always served during "Noche Buena" - Christmas Eve. This comforting dish takes its name from the kernals of hominy or "posole", an essential ingredient.
Lola's is a modern "carniceria", a Latino market that has a small 8 table dining area just before you enter the main market. The counter offers a simple menu. It lists the usual tacos, burritos, and chile rellenos. It offers combos with beans and rice. On the weekends you can order menudo, posole or caldo de 7 mares (seafood soup). I've yet to try the "coctel de camerones" (shrimp cocktail).
Here's a simple recipe for "Posole" using pork shoulder, pork ribs and chicken.
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 whole ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
4 pounds pork shoulder blade roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 pounds pork back ribs, cut into 2-rib portions
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 quarts posole or canned white hominy, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 avocados, cut into chunks
8-10 limes, cut into wedges
2 bunches radishes, washed and quartered or sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
Dried Mexican oregano
Tortilla chips or tostadas
Hot Salsa (optional)
In a large dutch oven or stockpot, heat a thin film of oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic, onions and chiles. Sauté garlic and onions until transparent. Brown chiles on all sides.
Generously season the meat with salt and pepper. Add to dutch oven or stockpot and cook the pork meat and pork ribs until well browned on all sides. Brown the chicken pieces in the same manner. Pour off any excess fat. Deglaze the dutch oven or stockpot with about 1/2 cup water, scraping any browned bits off the bottom.
To the pot, add 5 quarts of water and bring to a simmer. Add posole, oregano, and pepper to taste. Simmer gently, partially covered, about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve the posole in soup bowls with the garnishes in individual bowls on the side.
NOTE: This is not a dish for one! Buen Provecho!
Life is a banquet, my friends.