My pipes froze over the weekend. But thankfully I had a batch of this Spiced Pork Posole ready to zap in the microwave.
It may not have been enough to thaw the pipes, but it unfroze my soul.
Just kidding. My soul is pretty warm-fuzzy.
An FYI about frozen pipes — they are not fun. I returned from work one day, got undressed for a post-work rinse, which takes a lot of courage since my house is not exactly winterized (single-pane windows, thermostat set to 65…). I turn on the bathtub faucet only to be met with a quick spit of water, a few gurgly sounds, and then a puff of dust. (There probably wasn’t dust — I might have conjured that bit in my imagination.)
Of course, the first thing I did was assume that I had forgotten to pay the water bill. But alas, it turns out I do have a responsible streak and I did pay the bill on time and in full. The second thing I did was to assume that the pipes freakin’ froze because our house is so freakin’ cold. And I immediately needed to wash my hands and make a cup of tea and maybe wash a dish or two and I definitely needed to brush my teeth and throw in a load of laundry. But no such luck. I had to wait two days for those suckers to thaw out.
Thankfully, I already had my Spiced Pork Posole and my Microwave and that was enough to survive the weekend.
Posole (po-sole-E) is a traditional Mexican stew made from pork (or poultry), maize, and chili peppers. I glanced at several recipes so I could pick and choose what went into my posole, and I think what I came up with is pretty darn good. It seemed like I was being heavy-handed with the seasonings, but the flavors came out just right. Fresh chilies give the stew a quick spark, while the cumin and chile powder impart a darker, fire-roasted sort of heat. I was skeptical of the oregano — an Italian seasoning in a Mexican dish? — but it gives the stew such depth. Slow-simmered pork and chewy hominy make each spoon tender and full. Round out all that warm flavor and complex texture with cool avocado, fresh cilantro, and a squirt of bright lime and you’ve got yourself a healthy and hot supper.
So no worrying about that cold, snowy night that’s on its way. Just close your eyes and savor your first slurp. Feel it hit the back of your tongue and enjoy the slow, indulgent burn down your throat. Instantly forget about frigid temperatures and frozen pipes. Posole is what’s good about winter.
Spiced Pork Posole
- 2 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro divided
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 pound lean boneless pork loin diced
- 1 can hominy 15.25 ounces, drained*
- 1 cup diced green poblano pepper
- 1 cup diced tomatillos**
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 5 ½ cups chicken stock
- ½ tablespoon ground coriander optional
- ½ tablespoon oregano
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- To garnish: lime wedges sliced avocado, sliced radish
Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and garlic in pan until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
Add pork. Cook, stirring, until meat is browned on the outside, about 10 minutes.
Add hominy, poblanos, tomatillos, cumin, chili powder, broth, coriander, and oregano. Cover and simmer until pork is tender and white, about 45 minutes.
Garnish and serve.
*May substitute canned corn**May substitute red tomatoes