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Seared Cod with Pork Posole and Cilantro Pesto Recipe

In this recipe, a Schwarzbier is perfect for the posole. It’s a dark beer that isn’t overly bitter or heavy, and it’s crisp enough and light enough to lend both flavor and color, without overpowering the dried chilies.

Christopher Cina April 14, 2017

Seared Cod with Pork Posole and Cilantro Pesto Recipe Primary Image

The posole in this dish would work well as a meal on its own, but I like the idea of pairing it with fish and a bright cilantro pesto. You could easily replace cod with halibut, salmon, or sea bass, but make sure to buy fresh fish—seared fish that was once frozen doesn’t always hold up so well. For the posole, I wanted a dark beer that wasn’t overly bitter or heavy, so I went with a Schwarzbier. It’s crisp enough and light enough to lend both flavor and color, without overpowering the dried chilies.

Active preparation time: 60 minutes
Total time: 8 hours
Serves: 3–4

Cilantro Pesto

2 bunches of cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
½ bunch of parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
½ cup of garlic cloves
2 serrano chiles
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup (59 ml) lime juice
1 cup (237 ml) olive oil

In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, serrano chiles, lime juice, and salt. Blend on high, then with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth pesto is formed. Remove the mixture from the blender and serve with the Seared Cod and Pork Posole.

Seared Cod and Pork Posole

6 oz (170 g) dried New Mexico red chiles
¼ cup (59 ml) olive oil, divided
½ lb (227 g) pork butt, trimmed and cubed ½" x ½" (1 cm x 1 cm)
½ oz (14 g) fresh garlic, minced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
6 oz (170 g) fresh tomatillo, papery husk removed and diced
3 Anaheim chiles, de-seeded and diced
12 oz (340 g) dried hominy, rinsed
2 cup (473 ml) chicken stock
2 cup (473 ml) New Belgium 1554 Black Lager
2 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped
Kosher salt
Four 6 oz (170 g) cod filets
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
½ cup cilantro pesto

Remove the stems and seeds from the red chiles and place them in a small pan with just enough water that the chiles start to float. Boil on high for 30 minutes or until the chiles become tender. Strain the chiles while reserving the liquid. Place the chiles in a blender and puree with just enough of the reserved liquid to allow the mixture to combine and blend until smooth. You should have roughly 1 cup (237 ml) of red chile sauce.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, then brown the pork over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until they’re translucent. Transfer the pork mixture to a slow cooker, then add the tomatillo, Anaheim chiles, hominy, chicken stock, beer, and chile sauce. With the lid on securely, cook on low (a slow simmer) for 7 hours. If you need to add a little liquid during the cooking process or at the end, a little more beer is fine. Just before serving, add the oregano and season to taste with salt.

In a cast-iron or nonstick pan, heat the remaining oil over high heat. Sear the cod until it begins to brown lightly.

Scoop 1½ cup (355 ml) of the posole onto plates or bowls, then top the posole with a piece of seared cod. Garnish each serving with a wedge of fresh lime and cilantro pesto.

Beer Suggestions: Pair with the remaining New Belgium Brewing Company 1554 (Fort Collins, Colorado). Schwarzbier is German for “black beer,” so for this recipe look for other black lagers such as Devils Backbone Brewing Company Schwartz Bier (Roseland, Virginia) or The Brew Kettle Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier (Strongsville, Ohio).

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PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER CINA