3 pounds country-style spareribs
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely crushed
1 1/2 quarts water
3 pounds chicken backs, wings and necks
1 pig's foot, cracked, if desired
Fresh tomato salsa
1 (29 ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Trim fat from spareribs. Cook ribs, 1/2 at a time, in lard in 6- to 7-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove ribs from pan. Add white onion to pan; sauté over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, salt, oregano and cumin; sauté 30 seconds.
Add water, chicken, pig's foot and spareribs to pan. Heat over medium heat to boiling; reduce heat to very low. Simmer, covered, skimming foam occasionally, until ribs are tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Remove and discard chicken and pig's foot, if used. Remove spareribs to plate; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
Remove and discard fat and bones from ribs. Break meat into large chunks; return to soup. Refrigerate, covered, 4 hours or overnight.
Remove and discard fat from top of soup. Stir in hominy. Heat over medium heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual bowls. Pass lettuce, radishes, scallions, lime wedges and fresh tomato salsa to be added according to individual taste.
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings or 8 first course servings.
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