Menudo de Soya
Sep 13, 2007 by bartolimu | 0 Comments| Share it:
I’m fairly fond of Mexican cooking, especially dishes that use red chiles. Pozole and Menudo are two of my favorites because of the rich, flavorful broth, but I’m not a big fan of tripe. This recipe uses frozen tofu - which becomes denser, more meaty, and a bit spongier - as a stand-in for the traditional cow’s stomach. Boiling the tofu for a bit further enhances its textural component.
- 1 can hominy
- 1 medium/large onion
- Dried chiles of any type(s) you desire
- 1 bottle beer
- Dried Oregano
Also one fresh pork picnic (or other suitable portion).
You'll want some nice, firm tofu for this. In fact I went one better and found HARD TOFU which must clearly be the hardest and best TOFU in the world. Put the TOFU, package and all, in a bowl. Cut a slit along one edge of the package, but don't drain it.
Put that in the freezer overnight. It'll freeze into a solid block. A solid, HARD block of HARD TOFU and water. Thaw it gently, draining the water as it thaws.
Brown your pig in a big pot.
Once it has some nice color on it, pull out your beer.
And deglaze the pan with it.
Put the pig back in and pour in enough water to cover. (You can salt the water now or after the pork is cooked; I recommend now.) If you have a pressure cooker (as I did), cook according to manufacturer's directions for an hour or two. If not, boil that pig for 3+ hours. Either way it should be falling-off-the-bone done when you take it out.
Move the meat to a side plate to cool. Use a fat separator. Or other method to remove excess fat from your broth, then pour it back into the pot. Bring to a low simmer.
Chop up your onion.
Put that in the broth and cover. Open the can of hominy and rinse it in a colander. Add the drained hominy to the broth with the onions. Now it's time to talk chiles.
Dried chiles are a staple of my kitchen. They're wonderful because they keep virtually forever, are reasonably easy to work with, and add a huge amount of flavor. To really gain access to that flavor we need to rehydrate them. First, cut off the top of the chile. I like to use a scissors or kitchen shears for this. Shake out as many loose seeds as you can. (Optional: cut off the tip of the chile as well to speed re-hydration.)
Soak the chiles in hot water for 20-30 minutes or until pliable.
This is a food mill. The food mill excels at separating skin from flesh on things like chilies, and I use it when making chile paste. If you don't have a mill, just take a food processor and chop up the chilies as finely as you can. If you do have one, this is what you do:
Cut the hydrated chiles into thin strips using your shears or a knife. Place them in the mill.
Turn the crank on the mill, which will force pure chile goodness out the bottom.
I like to sprinkle a little water on the chile skins after I've gotten the first "press," as this extracts even more chile goodness from them. In the end you'll have bowl full of chile paste. Add this to the pot of broth, onion, and hominy. Pull apart the pork, which should be cooled by now, and put the meat back into the pot as well.
Cut your unfrozen caveman tofu lengthwise to expose more of its spongy texture.
Now slice into shapes as fanciful or unimaginative as you wish. I made triangles. Drop your carved up HARD TOFU and some dried oregano into the pot with everything else and simmer for at least a half hour.
Serve with fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and more dried oregano.
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