White Posole Stew with Shredded Pork and Chocolate
I think it helps to use a slow cooker to cook the pork for this recipe. You can start it in the morning, it’s completely hands-off, produces a decent amount of stock for the recipe, and will be ready to rock by dinnertime.
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 4-pound bone-in pork shoulder or half picnic roast
1 cup apple cider
2½ teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons pork fat reserved from roast, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed, torn into pieces.
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1½ teaspoon salt (and more to taste)
4 cups-plus chicken stock
2 ounces 55%–65% bittersweet chocolate, grated
1 28-ounce can white hominy*
½ head red or green cabbage, shredded
8–10 radishes, sliced very thin
1 lime, cut into 8–10 wedges
8–10 sprigs cilantro
*You can use dried New Mexican posole if that is what is available in your area. Just prepare the kernels according to the package directions and substitute ounce-for-ounce for the hominy.
Layer the sliced yellow onion onto the bottom of a large slow cooker.
Place the picnic roast on top of the onions. Pour the apple cider over
the pork, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt. Cover the slow cooker, and cook
on high for 4–6 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone and
shreds easily. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, use a Dutch oven or cast iron pan with a cover.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and shred the meat, discarding the bone. Skim (but reserve) the fat off the liquid left in the pot, and strain the remaining stock. Set the meat and stock aside until ready to serve.
In a dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant. Add the oregano and toast for just a couple of seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and empty the spices into a mortar to cool. Grind the cumin and oregano with a pestle until they are powdery.
Heat half the pork fat in a medium soup pot. Add the chopped yellow onion and cook until softened slightly and translucent. Add the dried chiles to the pot, and toast until just fragrant. (Be careful not to burn them.)
When the chiles are toasted just right, add enough chicken stock to barely cover the vegetables, and cover the pot. Cook at a simmer until the chiles and onions are very soft. Remove the pot from the heat and put the vegetables through a food mill.
Heat the remaining pork fat in the same pot over a medium flame, and
then add the chile/onion paste. Sauté the paste until reduced slightly
and darkened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin/oregano mixture, cloves,
1½ teaspoons salt, and the chocolate, and stir to combine. Add the
pork stock, chicken stock, and hominy (including the liquid). Simmer and
salt to taste until the flavors begin to round out and meld. About an
When ready to serve, place a small mound of shredded pork in each bowl. Ladle over the stew, and then top with cabbage and radish, adding lime wedge and cilantro sprig. Serve with warm tortillas.