The squeezed lime juice added at the time of eating is essential to bringing out the best flavours of the dish. If you don't like the idea of using pig's trotters, then just use pork shoulder. It would be just fine. I used a chiffonade of spinach, since it is in my garden. I like the addition of garnishes on top.
I bought this lovely piece of handmade pottery at the pueblo. It is a seed pot. The pot would be filled with seeds and then you could shake them into the furrow to plant them. It fits in the palm of your hand.
- 1 bunch mint (1 ounce)
- 1 bunch cilantro (1 ounce)
- 4 pounds country-style pork ribs (not lean)
- 10 cups water
- 26 garlic cloves (about 1 1/2 heads), peeled, divided
- 1 (1/2-pound) white onion, quartered, plus 1/2 cup, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 2 ounces dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles (6 to 9), wiped clean
- 1 1/2 ounces dried ancho chiles (2 to 4), wiped clean
- 1 whole clove
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 (15-ounce) cans hominy (also called pozole), rinsed and drained
- Accompaniments: diced avocado; crema; queso fresco; thinly sliced iceberg or romaine lettuce or cabbage; chopped white onion; sliced radishes; fried tortilla strips or chips; lime wedges; dried oregano; dried hot red-pepper flakes
Tie together mint and cilantro with kitchen string.
Bring pork and water to a boil in a large pot, skimming froth, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add tied herbs, 20 garlic cloves, quartered onion, oregano, peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt and gently simmer, uncovered, until pork is very tender, about 3 hours. Strain broth through a large sieve into a large heatproof bowl. Return broth to pot. Discard mint and cilantro. Pick through the meat and onions and discard bones and coarsely shred pork into broth. Also rub the onions and garlic between your fingers to make a puree and add back to broth.
Meanwhile, slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles in batches, opened flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until more pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to a bowl and pour 2 1/2 cups boiling water over chiles. Soak, covered, until softened, about 30 minutes.
Purée chiles with 1 1/2 cups soaking liquid, chopped onion, remaining 6 garlic cloves, clove, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in cleaned blender until a smooth paste forms, about 2 minutes.
Heat oil in cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then add chile paste (it will spatter) and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.
Add chile paste and hominy back to the broth and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Slice suggested accompaniments and serve the stew with these. Add them to your individual bowls of stew as desired.
Cooks' note: Posole can be made 3 days ahead. Chill, uncovered, to cool, then cover.