If I had a food truck, one of my dishes I think would be a posole. We have a lot of cool weather here in San Francisco pretty much year round, and a quick, nice hearty bowl of posole would warm me up just right so many days at lunchtime. I didn't have one of the cute paper take-out bowls, so just imagine that's what this soup is in with the fixings all laid out in front of you in large buckets. This recipe was based on what I can remember of some posole I had in Peru a few years ago. It gets its distinctive flavor from toasted pumpkin seeds that are ground to a paste. —TheWimpyVegetarian
1.5 pound pork shoulder on the bone, with about 1 pound of it being the meat
3-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other high heat oil (divided)
2 1/4 cups white onion, chopped (divided)
½ cup carrots, chopped
2 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
1½ - 2 teaspoons Pimenton de la Vera sweet paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup Negro Modela, or other Mexican beer (or any beer you prefer)
1 29-oz can hominy corn, with the kernels peeled
2 lb tomatillos, shucked, and washed
2-3 serrano peppers (or 4 if you like it super-spicy!)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Juice of 1 lime
1½ tsp Mexican oregano
Salt to taste
radishes, thinly sliced
Cojita cheese, or other Mexican white cheese, crumbled
Lightly salt the pork shoulder and bring to room temperature. Dry thorough, re-salt and sprinkle a little pepper on it. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. When the oil is very hot, add the pork shoulder and thoroughly brown on all sides to a deep brown color. Remove and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil/fat.
Add 2 cups white onion and the carrots to the hot oil/fat with the salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the paprika and saute until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute.
Add the pork back into the pot and add the chicken broth and beer and bring to a boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface and simmer for about 1 hour.
Drain the can of hominy and add the corn to the pot and simmer for another hour until the pork is tender and falls off the bone. Remove the pork and bones and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred the pork.
Heat the oven to 400F and roast the tomatillos and serrano peppers until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Peel and seed as well as possible. You may want to pass the tomatillos through a strainer to remove the skin and seeds if they're difficult to remove. The strainer does not need to be a thin meshed one like a chinois to do the job. Something like a flour sifter mesh works just fine. Put it all in a blender or a food processor and whirl it like crazy. Add 1/4 cup of the remaining white onion, the cilantro and 1 cup of the posole soup broth and process until fairly smooth.
Toss the pumpkin seeds in a little olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, the cumin and coriander and 1 teaspoon salt and toast on the stove in a dry pan until the seeds expand and toast up. Puree in a food process until it begins to look like a paste. Add the tomatillo sauce in stages plus 1 cup of posole broth and process until smooth.
Add the pumpkin seed / tomatillo mixture back into the pot with the posole along with the shredded pork, lime juice and Mexican oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes to meld the flavors and add salt to taste.
Serve with a variety of fixings: for example, radishes, cabbage, Cojito cheese, finely chopped white onion, and lime slices.