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pork your own adventure
Last week, I went on vacation to Shenandoah National Park. Everywhere we went and everything we did was so breathtakingly beautiful. In the woods, surrounded by trees and rivers, is where I feel most myself. It’s a setting that immediately takes me back to my childhood – ducking around branches and dodging spider webs for miles to get to the perfect swimming hole. Then spending the entire day there drowning my cousins and jumping off of rope swings. Sitting on the porch of our Airbnb, the trees seemed to be carelessly tossing their leaves to the breeze as the final days of summer set on the river. Returning to the city after this verdant end of August reprieve has left me starved for one thing and one thing only.
Every year around July fifth, I am done with summer. In fact, I wish that fall started on July sixth and lasted until December first. This year I am feeling particularly eager for it. Every time I turn on the TV, I silently wonder to myself, “Is this the day I restart Gilmore Girls?” I know that it’s still hot as hell out nearly every day and the city pools haven’t even closed yet, but I’ve been walking around delusionally in my only cashmere sweater and I am declaring it fall. It’s time to heat up that kitchen.
In the past few days, I have cooked over twenty pounds of pork butt and honestly I’m ready to cook twenty more next week. I’m obsessed with this recipe right now. I’ve made it to a few different conclusions, so I’m going to give you the pork recipe and a few different options for how to finish it. One is a pretty classic posole verde and one is a posole verde with pasta in place of hominy – which makes it not a posole at all. If you’re not feeling soupy, I also like to just eat this pork on a tortilla with some sour cream, herbs, and hot sauce.
PORK WITH GREEN CHILIES
1 Boston Butt (5-8lbs)
2 Tbsp fresh ground whole cumin
1 white onion, diced
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
3 lbs. mixed green chilis, chopped (cubanelle, Anaheim, shishito, poblano)
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro
1 lb. dried hominy
½ lb. pasta like egg noodles or ditalini
Season pork with salt at least one hour and up to a day in advance. Preheat oven to 300°. In a Dutch oven, pork on all sides until deeply browned. Remove pork and add onion, garlic, and cumin. Scrape the fond from the bottom of the pot, incorporating it with the alliums. When the onion and garlic starts to soften, add pork back to the pot. Add peppers and tuck them in surrounding the pork. Fill the pot with water until the pork is nearly submerged. Add a few sprigs of cilantro. Place the lid on and place the Dutch oven on a rack in the lower portion of the oven. Roast at 300° for 5 – 8 hours. When the pork is done it will be completely tender and falling apart. Use two forks to pull it into large strands, removing any bones or large pieces of fat. Salt to taste. Finish with lime juice or more cilantro.
If using a crock pot, sear the pork in a heavy pot or pan before transferring it to the crock pot. Add the alliums to the same pan and scrape up the fond then scrape the mixture into the crock pot before adding the peppers.
For Soup – After shredding the pork, add cooked pasta. Then finish with salt, lime and herbs. Alternatively, after shredding, add dried hominy and simmer for 30 more minutes. Then finish with salt, lime, and herbs.
Happy Anniversary; it’s been two years of brothmailers. To those subscribers who have been here since the very beginning, thank you for blindly walking hand in hand with me into an unknown soup-filled future. To those of you who have subscribed in the interim, thank you, too. I am so glad to have you here. Writing has been one of my favorite things to do since I was very young and I have struggled to fit it into my adulthood. So I honestly cannot tell you how much it means to me that you subscribe and support my writing and recipes. I love you all.
Starting this week, in addition to Thyme Machine and Linea Verde Green Market, you can find brothmonger soups at the brand new Deutschtown Deli on the corner of East Ohio Street and Cedar Avenue in the Northside. I am overjoyed to be partnering with the deli in bringing brothmonger to three storefronts over two neighborhoods. More to come. Brothmonger Nation. I’m pouring soup on the world.