When I left for college in 2011, I was so excited to get out of the house , make new friends, and have new experiences. However, the one thing I didn’t think about was how much I was going to miss my mother’s cooking. Every day after school there usually was a big pan of delicious food. Sometimes it was carne con chile, sopes, or when you got really lucky it was a hot pot of espinazo. So what is it? Well its basically a Mexican stew with pork, vegetables, and a delicious broth. Growing up it was rare that my mom made this stew because living in a small town of Crete NE. The Mexican grocery store options were limited. Normally only Mexican stores have this cut of meat. The piece is basically the spine of the pig, and then they cut it up in pieces that are about 2 inches thick. You could use another cut of meat, but it wouldn’t taste the same.
Every time you have this stew it warms you right up. Its healthy and its so flavorful. The trick to making this stew is making you sure you add plenty of bay leaves and the best cut of meat at your local butcher.
Sometimes you get some pieces that don’t have a lot of meat, but the best is when it has a lot of meat on the bone. Another important thing is to sauté the guajillo chiles with the tomato and other spices. That will give the broth the most flavor and a smokiness to it that will make you want to make it again.
Having stew is great by itself, but we always tend to add some additional side items to compliment the stew. For example, we always heat up tortillas in order to wrap them up and eat them with the stew or taking the meat off the bone to make tacos. Usually, my mom cuts up some onion, avocado, limes, and hot peppers to add to the tacos or your stew. Its simple things but it really turns up the dish into something remarkable. Any time that I know that I am going to Crete I drop by my favorite Mexican store in Omaha and get three pounds of espinaso so that my mom and I can make it. It helps us spend some one on one time together since its rare that I get that with her or my dad as we’re both very busy.
If you want to challenge yourself and you’re feeling an authentic Mexican stew get yourself some espinazo and warm your tummy up by making this wonderful dish. I promise you that you won’t regret it and that you might instantly love this new cut of meat. I wonder if you could make some other yummy dishes using it… but that might have to be another time on a different blog post. Hope you enjoyed reading this post! Have a happy Sunday!