Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What did those gals say they put in that dish?......

A few years ago we took the kids on a trip to the four corners area.  Our main goals were;  have fun, keep it on the cheap, see Mesa Verde and eat local regional foods everynight for dinner.  This was our best car trip ever.  The 4 of us packed into a Honda Civic for 8 days!  One afternoon after visiting the Aztec Ruins we found ourselves in Farminton New Mexico.  It was the day before Thanksgiving and the town was shutting down. We found a little hole in the wall Mexican food joint that had more 4x4's caked with mud parked out front than cars.  Oh yeah, this is the spot. Our little Civic was dwarfed as we pulled in next to the trucks.  We walked in just as the gals were closing down their little deli and asked if we could get something to eat.  They looked at one another, back at the 4 dirty, tired and hungry gringos, laughed and decided they would feed us what they had left over.  Fine with us, we were starving after hiking around all day so bring it on.  We sat down and a few minutes later 4 huge plates of food landed on our table.  Remember, we didn't get to order, they just fed us.  We dug in while those ladies smiled away at us.  I knew we were in for a true regional treat. We had all sorts of things, tacos, enchiladas, and tamales.  Matt and Laurel both had a stew of some sorts as their side dish.  Titus and I had some of the best refried beans I have ever had. Although the beans were excellent they didn't come close to what Matt & Laurel were served. They had Posole or Pozole it is spelled either way.  After eating I had a chat with the smiling gals behind the counter about the dish.  They gave me a few hints (in Spanish) but didn't reveal their true real secrets. Maybe they did but with my rusty Spanish skills I didn't get it all.  They charged us $20.00 and sent us on our way.  When we returned to Oregon I went right to work trying to make this wonderful dish.  I did refer to a few of my cookbooks and this is what I came up with.  It is now another family favorite and on the tops of the comfort foods chart.

Saute up l large diced onion with a few cloves of garlic in a large cook pot.  Add 1 1/2#  boneless pork shoulder, cubed and dredge in  1/3 cup of flour, brown the meat just a tad, you may need to add a little more oil.  Slowly add about 32 oz chicken broth. You want this to mix with the flour without clumping to thicken the stew.  Then add (2) 15oz cans of pinto beans with all liquid, (2) 7 oz. cans diced green chilies, a dash of cayenne pepper.   Add a little salt, pepper, cumin and mexican oregano to taste.  Bring to a boil and simmer real low for about 1 hour.  You want the meat to get nice and soft.  Then add (1) 29 oz. can of hominy. Let simmer for another 45 minutes. Adjust your seasonings and just before serving  stir in about 1/3 cup chopped cilantro. 
If you like, garnish with lime wedges, sour cream, cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro.  I personally like mine plain.  Serve with warm corn tortillas and enjoy.
The hardest part of this dish is keeping the flour from clumping, otherwise it is a cinch if you have the time to hang around the house and watch the stew pot for a few hours.  Ingredients are cheap and it is another one pot wonder for a cold evening.
We have plans to return to that area some day.  It is beautiful country with so many great cultural places to visit.  When we do return, we will try to find this place again. It was the best Mexican food I have ever had.

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