Today we have a special treat! My father-in-law, a chemist turned caterer, has contributed the following posole recipe. Really, we have two treats, because posole contains hominy, and I love hominy. If you don't love hominy, well...
Posole came to us from Pre-Columbian Mexico. The name, "posole," is "hominy" - nixtamalized corn kernels.
There are probably as many "favorite" recipes for posole as there are chefs who prepare it. This offering is no different. I first became acquainted with the dish while living in Western Oklahoma and had a co-worker who had grown up in New Mexico who often spoke of it. He brought some to work and several of us got his recipe, as well as a handful of dried peppers from him and began making it.
My wife, a pure Iowa girl, who thinks black pepper and salt are pushing the envelope for exotic spices, really restricts my culinary adventures. She blessed this particular preparation, so those with a taste for more heat are free to add to it such ingredients as they might wish. It is always easy to put on some favorite Hot Sauce right at the end to heat it up. Some of my friends also will squeeze a little fresh lemon or lime on it.
1-1½ lb.. pork steak or chops
½ cup green pepper, cut in ¼" cubes
½ cup onion, cut in ¼" cubes
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Ancho Chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin (I like to buy cumin seeds and grind them in my mortar and pestle just before using)
¼ teaspoon ground oregano
1 - 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 - 15 oz can of hominy drained and rinsed (yellow or white doesn't matter)
1 - 15 oz can of beans, drained and rinsed (I like Light Red, but Dark Red or even Great Northern work just as well - it's all a matter of personal preference. "Real Posole" does not call for beans at all so that is simply an option.)
About 12 leaves of cilantro, chopped
1. Carefully trim the fat edges off the pork pieces and render them in a skillet. I usually add a tablespoon of olive oil just to prevent sticking until they begin to render.
2. Once they have rendered, remove the browned fat (I give mine to the English Setter that hangs out at our house - she approves.)
3. Sauté the pork until lightly browned over medium heat, then add the green pepper, onion, and garlic.
4. Add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano and mix in well.
5. Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir well, reduce heat to medium-low then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pork is tender.
6. To keep it all moist but not runny, it may be necessary to add some liquid - red wine works GREAT - I don't think it matters what kind - I just use whatever is sitting there when I am preparing it.
7. Stir in the hominy and beans and cover and simmer another 10 minutes or until everything is warmed through and the sauce is simmering gently.
8. Shut off the heat and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
9. Serve with rice or, my favorite, crumbled gluten-free tortilla chips.