Neal Fraser is at the helm of some of the hottest spots in Los Angeles. The chef and L.A. native has honed his craft since he was 20 and has enjoyed a remarkable run of success creating West Coast eateries. After years working for luminary chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Keller, Fraser opened up Grace in 2003 and quickly cemented his spot in the L.A. food scene. He followed up that success with BLD in 2006 and a healthy hot dog joint, Fritzi Dog, in 2012. With new concept Redbird at Vibiana now open in downtown L.A., it’s safe to say Fraser is a busy man.
Fraser is adept at re-imagining ingredients like wild boar and spaetzle, but he’s dedicated to dressing up comfort food classics as well. Fraser’s chef skills have taken him from the kitchen to the airwaves. He’s competed on Iron Chef America, Top Chef Masters, and Knife Fight, and was named “Chef of the Year” by Angeleno Magazine in 2007. Here he shares one of the recipes that’s made him so sought-after by diners and TV producers alike: a twist on traditional Mexican posole stew, chock full of pork and spicy chili peppers.
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Posole Chili Style
1 small can hminy
4 ears yellow corn, shucked and taken off the cob
2 yellow onions, diced fine
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 2-pound pork butt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons coriander
Ground black pepper
3 dried Guajillo peppers, seeded and sliced
3 dried Chile de Arbol peppers, seeded and sliced
2 chipotle chili peppers, from can
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
6 cups chicken stock
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
2 ounces canola oil (or other neutral oil)
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 large bag tortilla chips
For the Pork Shoulder: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season pork with half of the cumin and coriander, salt and pepper. Place in a pot with a lid and bake for three hours or until falling apart. This can be done the night before. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. The next day, finely dice the shoulder and reserve in liquid from the cooking process.
For the Posole: In a large pot, add the oil, chopped onion and garlic and sweat over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, hominy, cumin, coriander, oregano and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about an hour. Add the diced pork and corn. Cook until consistency is that of thin chili. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with chips and a slice of lime on the side.