I first tried Posole, a Mexican Pork and Hominy Soup, in Mexico City. It said Pork Stew in the translation, but when the bowl arrived there were all manner of mystery items floating around in the bright red soup - some of them animal, some of them not. It was most definitely one of those "What have I ordered?" moments. To make matters more distressing, there was a deafening Mariachi Band playing as the food arrived! I was in for the full Mexican experience!
I poked and prodded around the bowl, identifying possible animal parts, obviously with a look of terror on my face, some locals looked on, clearly amused at the large white man who didn't know what he'd ordered. The Mariachi became even more frantic.
What is hominy?
They needn't have scoffed - the soup was amazing and I ate every scrap! Alongside the mystery parts, floating in the soup, were large white corn kernels, I subsequently discovered these were hominy - corn that's been soaked in lime water (the mineral not the citrus). It swells up and the skins removed. It was my first encounter and I loved them - they give a unique corn flavour, unlike anything I'd tasted before.
Since that first experience, I've eaten the soup many times more and consequently never had the same version twice. Mostly, there's some kind of offal or tripe, but always pork and hominy. It's been spicy, mild sweet and sour but differences aside it's always rich and interesting.
My version is for the less squeamish eaters and features only regular pork. My recipe is also a VERY VERY easy to make at home. Give this a try if you want to experience something off the beaten track. Mariachi not included.
How to make my Posole
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1.5 kg pork butt (cut into chunks)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 celery sticks (chopped)
- 2 zucchini (cubed)
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (peeled & chopped)
- 1 200g can chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
- 1 200g can salsa verde
- 3 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
- 2 l water
- 1 800g can Mexican white hominy
- 2 limes (juice of)
- salt & pepper
- lime wedges, sour cream, fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large casserole pan and fry the pork in batches until brown. Remove and set aside.
- Fry together the onion, celery, zucchini and garlic for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the pork, oregano, tomatoes and salsas and stir well.
- Season with salt & pepper and add the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the pork is tender.
- Drain the hominy and pour into the stew. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from the heat. Squeeze over the lime juice and serve.
- Serve in soup bowl and garnish with fresh lime, sour cream and cilantro.
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