Ribs with Hominy and Kale

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

My version of pozole, this hearty stew is great to have on an early spring day when there is still a chill in the air but fresh radishes are appearing in the markets. A steaming bowl of pozole, garnished with fresh radishes, blends winter comfort food with the promise of spring.

Prepared hominy is available in well-stocked supermarkets or Latin American grocery stores. If you can’t find it, chickpeas make an acceptable substitute.

If you are using small Hass avocados, which in my opinion have the most flavor, use two in this recipe. Don’t peel and dice avocados until you are ready to use them. Otherwise they will discolor.


This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil and complete Step 2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, When you’re ready to cook, brown the ribs as outlined in Step 1 and add to stoneware. Stir well and continue with Steps 3 and 4.

Mindful Morsels: Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K. One serving of this dish provides almost 700 percent of the daily value of this vitamin.

Natural Wonders: PROTEIN

Meat is one of the best sources of high-quality protein. Protein plays a number of vital roles in bodily functions, from building and maintaining bones, muscles and skin to creating antibodies to fight against infection. High energy levels are also dependent upon having adequate supplies of this nutrient. In fact, new research suggests that we may need more protein than was previously thought. Recommendations on healthy eating suggest that adults should get between 10 and 35 percent of their calories from protein. However, a study reported in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research linked low levels of protein with bone loss and suggested that dieting, exercise and aging all place more demands on the body for protein. These researchers recommended that at least 20 percent of calories be derived from protein.


Cooking Methodslow cooking


Total Timehalf-day

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, high fiber, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentcrock pot



Taste and Textureherby, meaty, savory, spiced


  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 2½ lbs (1.25 kg) sliced country-style pork rib or side pork ribs, trimmed of fat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican, crumbled
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cumin seeds, toasted (see Notes)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 (25 ml) tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cans (each 15 oz/425 g) hominy, drained and rinsed (see Notes)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ancho chili powder, dissolved in
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 8 cups (2 l) chopped, stemmed kale (about 1 large bunch)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped red or green onion
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced, optional (see Notes)
  • Sliced radishes, optional
  • Lime wedges


  1. Large (minimum 6 quart) slow cooker

  2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add ribs, in batches, and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

  3. In same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, peppercorns and toasted cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

  4. Add hominy and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until ribs are tender and falling off the bone.

  5. Add chili powder solution and jalapeño pepper and stir well. Add kale, in batches, completely submerging each batch in the liquid before adding another. Cover and cook on High for 20 to 30 minutes, until kale is tender. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with onion, cilantro and avocado and/or radishes, if using. Pass lime wedges at the table.



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