Recipes from a well-seasoned chef
2 oz. guajillo chili pods (found in most grocery stores)
2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, 1" dice
2 12-oz. cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. ground cumin
1½ tsp. dry Mexican oregano, crumbled
½ small cabbage, sliced thin
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 avocado, ½" cubes
½ yellow or white onion, ½" diced
4 red radishes, sliced thin
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
2 large tomatoes, ½" diced
½ lb. tortilla chips
Put 2 quarts of water in a sauce pot and 1½ c. water in another. Place on medium heat and begin to bring them to a boil. While you are waiting, slit a hole in the side of the chili pods and remove the seeds, large veins and stems. Heat up a skillet and toast the chilies for a few minutes. They will soften a little, but don’t let them burn. When the water comes to a boil in the smaller pot, place the chilies in it, turn off the burner, cover and let them steep for about 15 minutes.
Place a lightly oiled skillet on high heat. Pat the moisture off the pork with a paper towel, then season with salt. Carefully place enough pork in the skillet to just fill the bottom in a single layer. Sear the meat to a rich brown color, working in batches (remove to a plate). When all the meat is done, add the garlic to the pan, stir for about 10 seconds, then add the meat back to the skillet, if there’s enough room for all of it; otherwise ½ will do. Turn pan off and add 1 c. boiling water to the pan and remove the brown bits in the bottom of the skillet. Add all of this plus 1 Tbs. salt to the large pot of boiling water. To this, add the hominy, bay leaf, cumin and oregano. Bring to a simmer.
Place the chili pods, 1 Tbs. salt, and ½ of the liquid into a blender. Place the lid on the blender then cover with a kitchen towel to help protect against splash-back due to the heat of the liquid. Purée until smooth. Add the rest of the liquid, then repeat the purée process. Push the purée through a strainer with a rubber spatula, then add to the simmering pork and hominy. Simmer for two hours or until the pork is very tender. Adjust the flavor with more salt if needed. This should be a brothy soup with medium to light body.
Ladle this into a soup bowl and personalize it with whichever garnishes you prefer.