For months Miriam has been talking about making use of her Rancho Gordo hominy with a big pot of Pozole, a spicy Mexican pork stew. On Saturday we got together and followed the Nopalito Pozole Roja recipe posted by SFGate a few years ago. It took us about 4 hours to make, but the majority of that was cooking the hominy. In our downtown we enjoyed some Campari cocktails and binged on Transparent (if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this now and watch the Pilot).
Nopalito’s Pozole Roja (makes 10 servings)
- 1 lb Rancho Gordo dried hominy
- 5-6 large dried ancho chiles
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 2 small white onions, medium dice
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 TB dried Mexican oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- cheesecloth and twine
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 stems cilantro
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 lb pork shoulder, excess fat and silver skin removed, cut into 1-inch dice
- Kosher salt to taste
- 12 cups of water
- green cabbage, thinly shredded
- radishes, thinly sliced
- red onion, thinly sliced
- avocado, diced
- yellow corn tortilla chips
If making this dish all at once, I’d recommend setting aside about 4 hours, most of which is inactive. The ingredients for this recipe are relatively inexpensive (we spent $30 for 10 portions) so don’t skimp on high-quality pork or hominy beans. And be sure to trim almost all the fat from the pork so you don’t end up with a lot of grease in the stew. Your butcher can remove the outer layer of fat, and you can remove the rest with a sharp knife as you cube the meat. Lucky for me, Miriam loves cutting meat and she looks pretty professional with a big knife. Now, for the recipe…
Preheat oven to 350°. Place hominy in a heavy casserole or medium oven-safe skillet. Cover with about 2 inches of tap water, then cover with lid and place in oven. Cook until hominy is cooked through but not falling apart, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Drain then set aside. The hominy can be cooked ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Meanwhile, prepare the adobo sauce. Remove and discard the chile stems and seeds, then soak the chiles in hot water until soft – about 15 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a food processor, reserving the soaking water. Add garlic, onion, cumin and oregano to the food processor and process to combine, adding reserved soaking liquid by the 1/4 cup to form a thick, smooth puree. Season to taste. The adobo can also be made ahead and refrigerated for several days.
To prepare the Pozole, place the onion, garlic, cilantro stems and bay leaves in a cheesecloth satchel tied with butcher’s twine. Season the pork lightly with salt then transfer to a large pot and coat with the adobo sauce. Cover with 12 cups of water, or as needed to fully submerge the meat, then add the satchel. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, until the meat is tender.
Puree 1 cup of the cooked hominy with about 1/2 cup of the Pozole liquid, then add the puree and the remaining cooked hominy to the stew. Bring to a boil, and heat through. Remove from heat and serve in deep bowls with garnishes on the side. This spicy flavorful stew would pair well with an off-dry white wine, such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Viognier. The slight sweetness will stand up to the chili flavors, and provide a refreshing acidity to cool the palate.
Miriam and I made WAY TOO MUCH stew, but luckily it freezes well and the flavors meld better together over time. Not to mention, I’m happy to eat this for the next few days.