Years ago, I tested a peerless (as usual) recipe of Susan Spungen’s for the now defunct Weekend Magazine for posole. I had never had posole previously, but it remains my go-to recipe—pork shoulder simmered with pureed sweet chiles until falling apart, along with chunks of roasted butternut squash and chewy kernels of hominy. At the table, shredded cabbage, radishes, cilantro, hot sauce and sour cream are stirred in as desired. For whatever reason, this recipe doesn’t appear to be findable in a web search (get on it, Hearst!) and, sadly, I don’t have the authority to print it here. But I have discovered that even when I don’t have a few hours to simmer a pot of Susan’s posole, I can make a quickie version that scratches the itch.
There’s no specific recipe, because you can switch it around as you like, but here are the crucial elements:
For the stew:
Some sort of meat
Roasted chunks of some sweet vegetable: squash or sweet potato, for example
For the toppings:
Chopped something with zing (ie, radishes, white turnips, or cabbage)
Additional toppings as desired: chopped cilantro, onion, fresh hot peppers, toasted corn tortilla chunks or tortilla chips, shredded cheese
Last Friday night, for example, I browned some pork chops, then simmered them in broth until cooked through, and cut them off the bones into chunks and added a can of rinsed hominy. I stirred in some roasted squash chunks (cut small enough, they roasted in under 35 minutes) and put bowls of toppings on the table. It was hearty and satisfying, a brothy posole reminiscent of another favorite of mine, tortilla soup, and an hour earlier, I hadn’t even lit the oven yet. This version came together with enough interstices of time for the kids and me to whip up some cornbread, too. It was just right for a cozy evening at home with the first snowflakes swirling around outside.