Thursday’s Dish: Heartbreak Posole

I made such good posole this weekend. So spicy, so savory, punched up by the tartness of fresh lime and cilantro. I served it with warm corn tortillas. Mmmmm.

It was a big pot. I wanted leftovers for us and enough to send home with my mom, who drives up from San Antonio every other Monday (god bless her). I made it from homemade stock from the day before and tended it for hours, tasting for seasoning now and then, adding a little more of this and that.

After dinner, I left it on the stove to cool. It was a big pot, after all, so I didn’t want to warm up the whole fridge by putting it in there while it was still hot. Then I got my little girl to bed, went to my bedroom and chatted with my husband, and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning and went into the kitchen to get my coffee, I saw the pot. On the stove. Full of posole. #&*$%#!!!!!!

I cried. Seriously, I burst into tears. It represented so much work! And money! And dinner taken care of for a day or two. And a small payback for my mom’s generosity (she really likes posole, and so does my stepdad). Oh, it sucked. I found it hard to start that day and keep doing the things I needed to do. But later on, I had a bath, and then my mom arrived and took me to lunch. Things started looking up.

I got back on the horse. I went to the grocery store. I cooked, dammit. I made a beef curry to send home with Mom and lemon-rosemary chicken for that night. I went to bed full, tired and happy, having made absolutely, positively sure that the pot of curry was in the refrigerator.

Heartbreak Posole

4 cups chicken stock*

2 cups water

1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed

1 onion, cut into quarters

4 cloves garlic

2 “large” cans chopped green chilies (7 ounces each, not the tiny 4-ounce ones)
Advertisement1 jalapeno, seeded and stemmed

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

Salt to taste

2 cans hominy, drained

Quartered limes and freshly chopped onion and cilantro for garnish

Put the water and chicken broth in a pot on the stove and heat to a boil. Turn down to simmer and leave there. Pulse onion, garlic, green chilies and jalapeno in a food processor a few times. (You want everything to be in tiny pieces, but not a homogeneous mixture.) Put oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add green chilies mixture. Sauté 3-4 minutes, stirring at will. Add pork and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to sauté until pork is mostly cooked, about 5 minutes more.

Pour or ladle hot broth into pork mixture (carefully!). Add cumin and Mexican oregano (rub the oregano between your hands to thoroughly crumble it). Cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings, and add hominy. Turn down to simmer for at least 30 more minutes. (The longer you cook it, the more tender the pork will be.) Serve with lime, onion and cilantro (you may also garnish with freshly chopped green cabbage or iceberg lettuce). I like to tear up corn tortillas to put in mine also.

*A traditional posole will use the cooking broth from the whole pork shoulder, and shredded meat rather than chopped, but I find the chicken broth lighter and still plenty tasty.

I hope you enjoy it,


8 Comments on Thursday’s Dish: Heartbreak Posole

  1. i have never had posole before, but i am looking forward to trying this recipe…i’m hungry just reading it.

    i am so sorry that your posole caused heartbreak…been there and done that, but with lesser foods ;-)

  2. Lady, you must be reading my mind lately!! I just finished a book about a chef from New Mexico and posole is one of her specialties. Been thinking of making some since I don’t think I’ve ever made it before.

    And, I think this weekend will be perfect for making it…. and hopefully the remodeling of our kitchen will be DONE!!

  3. I hope you both try it. Like I said, it’s not traditional, but lighter and very flavorful. This is the third thing I’ve left out on accident … I’ve ruined a pot roast, a pot of tortilla soup, and now the posole. I’m going to come up with a new system for when something’s cooling on the stove, because I’m obviously too tired and/or forgetful to be trusted to remember it!

  4. We usually leave our soups out all night to let them cool. Never had any problems, but I may just have a strong stomach!

  5. Wow — I’m a kitchen germaphobe, so I can’t see doing that and being okay with it. When I left out the pot roast, I tore off a chunk and threw the rest in the freezer. Then I fed the chunk to my dog because I know dogs can handle eating most anything (poop, garbage), so I figured he’d be a good barometer. Well, HE was fine, but he nearly ran US out of the house because of the smells that came out of him. I decided not to subject my family to whatever germies had caused those noxious fumes.

  6. okay, lemme wax poetic about posole….the juxtaposition of the lime and the cilantro with the garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, and the mild heat of the peppers…HEAVEN in a soup bowl. josh and i stuffed ourselves silly and didn’t even offer any to the kids (figured it would have too much heat for them). for me, the pork was yummy, but i was more taken with the tanginess and savoriness. this was ridiculously yummy…it will be a new family favorite that i will whip out frequently. thanks for sharing the recipe.

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