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Originally published Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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Recipe: Holiday Posole


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Serves 10-12

1½ pounds dried hominy (posole), available in Latino groceries, soaked overnight in cold water

3 ounces dried red New Mexico chilies (about 10 large chilies)

2 pounds fresh pork belly, cut in 2-inch cubes

2 pounds pork shoulder, not too lean, cut in 2-inch chunks

Salt and pepper

1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and stuck with 2 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted until fragrant and coarsely ground

2 cups finely diced white onion, soaked in ice water and drained, for garnish

Lime wedges, for garnish

Roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Toasted Mexican oregano, for garnish

1. Drain soaked hominy and put in large soup pot. Cover with water and bring to boil. Let simmer briskly for one hour.

2. While hominy is cooking, make red chili purée: Toast dried chilies lightly in cast-iron skillet or stovetop grill, just until fragrant. Wearing gloves, slit chilies lengthwise with paring knife. Remove and discard stems and seeds. Put chilies in saucepan and cover with 4 cups water. Simmer 30 minutes and let cool. In blender, purée chilies to a smooth paste using some cooking water as necessary. Purée should be of milkshake consistency.

3. Season pork belly and pork shoulder generously with salt and pepper. After posole has cooked one hour, add pork shoulder, pork belly, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, garlic and cumin. Add enough water to cover by two inches, then return to a brisk simmer. While adding water occasionally and tasting broth for salt, simmer for about 2½ hours more, until meat is tender and posole grains have softened and burst. Skim fat from surface of broth.

4. Stir in 1 cup chili purée and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. (At this point, posole can be cooled completely and reheated later. Refrigerate for up to three days.)

5. To serve, ladle posole, meat and broth into wide bowls. Pass bowls of diced onion, lime wedges, cilantro and oregano, and let guests garnish to taste.

David Tanis, The New York Times



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