Posole

I had posole for the first time about eight years ago. We went to a Mexican restaurant on Burnet (I, cannot for the life of me, remember the name!) in December to have dinner with some friends. Nothing on the menu really stuck out until I got to the posole. So up until then, when I saw “posole,” I thought of the hominy in menudo. Menudo, which is a Mexican soup made with beef stomach and hominy, is one of my favorite things to eat.

It takes forever to make and not Melissa forever, like, actual forever. I want to say it takes something like twelve hours to make because it takes THAT long for the stomach to turn chewy. And it’s also very easy to make crappy menudo. I stopped eating other people’s menudo when I moved to Austin and made the mistake of ordering some at a restaurant and it was basically chili flavored water. That is not proper menudo. Proper menudo has a very distinct flavor and it’s hard to describe it. My cousin said it’s briny and I feel like that’s a good starting place but it’s much more complex than that. There’s the chili powder, that is very present without becoming unbearably spicy; oregano that is all over it and makes it smell heavenly; and the lime juice that brings it all together. Just try it and forget about the stomach.

Which is what I did up until this past January. When my Mom would make it, she would literally add an additional six pound can of hominy to the menudo just for me because I hated the meat. She would then pick out all the meat for me and just serve me the hominy. I remember my family members scolding her for spoiling me but she would always ignore them and say I was her daughter, she could spoil me if she wanted. By the way, who started chopping onions in here? My eyes are so watery!

I’m gonna wrap this up before I become a sobbing mess. I’ve been watching a lot of Jane the Virgin and seeing her relationship with her mom has really made me miss mine. I still have mine, thank goodness, but since the stroke has left her speechless, it doesn’t always feel like it.

Moving on.

Posole. When I finally had posole, I wondered why my Mom didn’t just make it instead of the very laborious menudo the whole time! It has hominy, it has pork (which menudo does as well, in the form of pig feet (I promise! It’s a good soup, it’s not disgusting!)), and it doesn’t take five hundred hours to make. Everybody wins in that situation!

And we all won when I made it! It was really easy to make, took me a little over an hour because I halved the recipe. The recipe called for pork shoulder but I used ribs because I couldn’t anything less than three pounds of shoulder and there’s no way I needed that much. Knowing my love for hominy and the four year old’s hatred of everything, I almost doubled the hominy. And when I was preparing her bowl, I stood there and pulled out every piece of meat for her. Because I can spoil her if I want to. *

*I didn’t have to do that for the baby because she loves everything. That’s her hand in the picture, grabbing more avocado and radishes. She stuffed her face and asked for seconds. I got thirds. She might not have my temperament but she has my big panza and love of food!

Recipe

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