Hominy and Pork Soup with Arbole Chile Sauce

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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Arbol Chile Sauce:
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 cups dried arbol chiles, stemmed (about 1 1/2 oz)
2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 1/2 lbs pigs’ feet (about 4), split, rinsed under cold water, or 3 1/2 lbs meaty pork neck bones
2 lbs boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces, fat trimmed
1 lb meaty pork neck bones
12 cups water
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
8 cups drained canned white hominy (from about five 15-oz cans)
3 limes, cut into wedges
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup thinly sliced radishes


For arbol chile sauce:
Cook garlic cloves in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat until beginning to soften and blacken in spots, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool and peel garlic. Transfer to small bowl. Add sesame seeds to same skillet. Stir over medium-low heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Add sesame seeds to same bowl.

Combine chiles and 2 cups boiling water in medium bowl. Let stand until chiles soften and water is coo, about 2hours. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Chop chiles and place in blender with seeds. Add 1 cup reserved soaking liquid. Puree until almost smooth. Add allspice, garlic, and sesame seeds. Puree until smooth, adding more soaking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin puree if desired. Pour puree into strainer set over bowl. Press on solids in strainer to extract as much liquid as possible for sauce.

For soup:
Place pigs’ feet, boneless pork pieces, and neck bones in very large pot. Add 12 cups water. Bring to boil, skimming any gray foam from surface. Add garlic and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until pork is tender., about 1 hour 45 minutes. Using tongs, transfer pigs’ feet, boneless pork pieces, and bones to bowl. Cool.

Pull meat in small chunks from pigs’ feet and neck bones. Discard bones and cartilage. Shred boneless pork pieces coarsely. Return all meat to broth in pot. Add hominy. Simmer soup 20 minutes to blend flavors, skimming any foam from surface. Season soup to taste with more salt. (Sauce and soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill sauce. Cool soup slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm soup before serving.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Pass sauce, limes, cabbage, onion, and radishes alongside to add to soup.

Serves 8 to 10.

From Bon Appetit.