Delightfully warm and earthy, this soup is the perfect antidote to holiday stress
Have you ever tasted a dish and felt instantly transported home, or noticed the flavors of food coursing through your veins, binding you to a place so real that you’d swear you were back in your grandmother’s kitchen? This Spicy Pork Stew with Hominy and Collard Greens, courtesy of New York Times Cooking, is that dish for me.
The blend of colors, flavors, and textures in this stew give each bite rich character.
Tender chunks of pork rest in a spice-laden broth that achieves depth and complexity while still remaining fresh. A base of onions and garlic, along with traditional Mexican spices, forms a savory foundation. And the collard greens, added during the final stages of cooking, bring texture while infusing the stew with rich nutrients. Traditional garnishes of fresh cilantro, thinly-sliced radishes, jalapeños, cubed avocado, and lime achieve a playful blend of colors and textures that elevate an already delicious dish to its sublime status.
Cubed chunks of pork are browned on all sides and then simmered for fall-apart tenderness in every bite.
But the real star of this show is the hominy. Soaking the kernels overnight and then patiently simmering them allows their earthy goodness to imbue every aspect of this dish, leaving your kitchen smelling like a warm stack of homemade tortillas. In fact, maybe that's why this dish reaches down and pulls so insistently at my past. When we were little, my sister and I used to walk up the street every morning to retrieve the day's tortillas from a local woman. She would take the damp kitchen towels we'd brought with us and carefully wrap these perfectly-formed discs, fresh off of the comal. Walking home was an exercise in restraint. It took great discipline just to make it the block-and-a-half home without peeking. I couldn't wait to get home and spread a little butter, salt, and lime on one of those handmade tortillas. When we did finally make it through the kitchen door, our patience was rewarded. Those first bites were well worth the wait.
Not only is this Spicy Pork Stew with Hominy and Collard Greens delicious on Day 1, it also freezes -- and reheats -- beautifully. The flavors only deepen over time.