This dish was inspired by a traditional northern Argentine hominy stew called mote con habas (fava beans) that typically contains different kinds of stewed pork and/or beef. Chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, co-owners of Portland’s beloved OX and co-authors of Around the Fire, make this Argentine breakfast all year long, even when favas aren’t in season—they just omit the beans altogether. Though it’s typically a one-pot dish, you can break up the components to cater to guests with different diets. The stew recipe can be vegan or vegetarian if you prefer something lighter. If you decide to go the meaty route, pork belly braised with maple syrup and beer takes the heartiness up a level, turning it into a darn delicious breakfast.
Stewed Heirloom Hominy with Fava Beans, Pork Belly, and Fried Duck Egg
To blanch and peel the fava beans, bring a small pot of water to a boil, and season generously with salt (the water should taste like seawater). Set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and cook for about 1 minute. Transfer to the ice bath, let chill for 3 minutes, then drain. Peel the fava beans of their outer skins and place in a clean bowl.
Slice the braised pork belly into 1-inch-wide strips, then into ½-inch-thick slices. Warm a large pot over medium-high heat and add the pork belly slices to lay flat (work in batches, if necessary, and drain any excess fat between batches). Cook without disturbing until the fat begins to render and one side begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes; flip and brown the other side. Add the pork braising liquid, deglazing the pot. Let cook until the liquid is reduced to a couple of tablespoons, then add the fava beans and hominy; bring to a simmer. Keep warm.
Warm a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, then crack 4 duck eggs into the pan. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the eggs sunny-side-up until the edges are crispy, about 2 minutes. Baste the egg whites occasionally with the hot oil to cook them through without overcooking the yolks. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining 4 duck eggs.
Divide the hominy among 8 warm serving bowls, then place 1 duck egg on top of each. Garnish with the green onions, jalapeños, and cilantro.
- Yields: 6 cups
Drain the hominy and transfer to a large pot. Fill the pot with water so that it’s covering the hominy by 3 inches, then lightly salt the water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours, checking the pot regularly and continuing to top off with water as needed, so that the hominy is submerged at all times. When the hominy is soft and most of the kernels (90 percent) have burst, it is ready.
Meanwhile, add the tomatoes to a high-powered blender and puree until smooth, at least 1 minute; strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
Combine the oil and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the annatto seed and stir for 1 minute more to toast it lightly. Add the tomato puree and bring to a simmer; season with salt and add the jalapeños. Remove the tomato mixture from the heat and set aside until the hominy is completely cooked. Remove enough water from the hominy so that the kernels are just poking up out of the water. Add the tomato mixture and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. The stew can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.