Vail Daily Food: Ancient stew, modern style |

Vail Daily Food: Ancient stew, modern style

Kristen Browning-Blas
The Denver Post
Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post

Posole seems to be one of those dishes that requires special ingredients – pig’s feet, a certain dried chile, the advice of an abuelita – to achieve authentic flavor.

But if you don’t happen to have hog parts, guajillo peppers or a Mexican grandma, you can still make an authentic posole. Turns out posole – the hominy-based stew – is one of those folkloric dishes that follows very few rules and takes on the character of the cook.

“I make it with pork. Or beef. Or chicken. If you have bacon, you can add bacon, whatever you want,” says Maria Salas, whose 30 grandkids qualify her as an abuela de verdad (a real grandmother).

Now retired, Salas taught Mexican cooking classes at the Northside Aztlan Center in Fort Collins, and enjoys chatting about recipes with her physical therapist, Krista Rudolph, and other patients at the Orthopedic Center of the Rockies.

It’s one of those dishes that gets cooks talking, comparing notes on spices and cooking methods. Rudolph lived in Roswell, N.M., for six years, where she learned to make a practical version of the stew, using canned posole, enchilada sauce and chicken stock in the crockpot.

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