Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew

This easy one pot meal is a definite keeper.  Hearty pork and hominy together in a flavorful broth that is neither thick nor soupy.  We sopped up the broth with a stack of homemade corn tortillas.  Delicioso!

Season the pork with the spice mix before browning, then repeat the same spices again in the stew is what makes this dish so tasty.  

Don't forget to put 2 tsp. of the spice mix on the side for later.
Even though my local grocer has a pretty large Mexican section with a wall of spices, I could not find ancho chile powder.  I was just about to give up when I found a bag of whole dried chiles that read “Chile Pasilla – Ancho” which took me back to the wall of chile powders for one last look.

That’s when I found a bag of “Chile Pasilla Molido” and took a chance that this was going to work, and it did.  When I got home I did a bit of homework and discovered that “Chile Pasilla Molido” was simply ground pasilla chili pods and that pasilla chile peppers have an earthy flavor with mild heat, very similar to ancho chile peppers.   So, if you can’t find ancho chile powder, pasilla is an excellent sub.

My notes to you...
I buy Italian stewed tomatoes in the large pack at Costco and use them for almost everything I cook that calls for canned tomatoes. That explains why they are oddly listed in the ingredients for this Mexican dish.  I think they worked very well. However, the original recipe asked for a can of fire roasted tomatoes, so once again, you have options.

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew
(adapted by a Cooking Light recipe)

2              Tbsp.                     ancho chile powder
2              tsp.                        dried oregano
1 ½         tsp.                        smoked paprika
1              tsp.                        ground cumin
½             tsp.                        kosher salt

2              pounds                   pork butt, cut into ½ inch cubes
3              Tbsp.                     oil
1              large                       onion, chopped small
3              cloves                     garlic, minced
1              14oz.can                chicken broth
1              29oz.can                white hominy, drained
1              14oz.can                Italian stewed tomatoes with liquid
2              tsp.                        seasonings
1              tsp.                        kosher salt

Mix seasonings together in a large bowl.  Remove 2 tsp. and set it on the side.

Add pork to the remaining seasonings and toss well to coat. (If time allows - season meat the night before and let sit in the fridge).

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven over med-high heat.  Add seasoned pork and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until browned.  Remove pork and place it back in the bowl. 

Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the pan and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add back the pork, chicken broth, hominy, tomatoes, reserved seasonings and 1 tsp. kosher salt.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until pork is tender. When the pork is tender; remove lid and let cook uncovered over med low heat (a gentle bubble) for 10 min. to reduce the sauce. 

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