Pozole With Duck and Mezcal
The giant white hominy used to make pozole are a blank canvas. The hominy — soaked, then simmered using a quick-boil shortcut that skips the need for overnight soaking — welcome chiles and a good dose of cumin. This pozole includes prepared duck confit instead of the more usual pork or chicken. Some diced fresh pineapple in the thick stew balances the spicy heat. A small glass of mezcal is a fine partner, especially as a finishing touch. Save a little of the drink for when you and guests are almost finished eating, to pour into the bowl for the last soupy spoonfuls. It’s what the French do in Gascony with their red wine when they enjoy a soup called garbure.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1cup dry white hominy (mote pelado)
- 2tablespoons duck fat or extra virgin olive oil
- 1large white onion, slivered
- 1green bell pepper, cored, seeded and slivered
- 1fresh poblano, cored, seeded and slivered
- 1leek, white part only, finely chopped
- 1jalapeño, cored, seeded and minced
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika
- ⅛teaspoon cayenne, or more, to taste
- ¼whole fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2duck confit legs and thighs, boned and slivered
- 4cups chicken stock
- 1tablespoon tomato paste
- Red-pepper flakes, to taste
- 2teaspoons lime juice
- 3scallions, minced
- 1tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
- 6ounces mezcal, or to taste, optional
Step 1Place hominy in a saucepan, add 4 cups water, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 1 hour. Then simmer about 2 hours, partly covered, until starting to soften, adding more water if needed to keep kernels covered. Set aside.
Step 2Heat duck fat or oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, bell pepper, poblano, leek and jalapeño. Cook on medium low until vegetables are soft and the onion barely starts to color, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, chipotle powder and cayenne. Cook for a minute, then add the pineapple and duck. Drain the hominy and add it. Add the chicken stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low about 1 1/2 hours, until the hominy has softened, is starting to look translucent and some of the kernels are popping open.
Step 3Season with salt and red-pepper flakes to taste. Add the lime juice. Fold in the scallions and cilantro. Divide the mezcal among 4 small glasses and serve alongside, if desired, to sip with the pozole. As guests have nearly finished their pozole suggest they pour some of the mezcal into their bowls for the last few spoonfuls.