Submitted by Marlene
This is a bit time consuming but absolutely delicious! :) It's been a big hit whenever I've served it, including at my monthly roving foodie group dinner (soup was the theme).
This is my variation of a recipe I found online.
1 tablespoons salt (GO EASY ON THE SALT IF THERE'S SOME IN THE STOCK!)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper
2 tablespoons pressed garlic (or more)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
About 6 pounds of pork backbones (or pork shoulder ribs, bone-in), cut into 2 inch segments with a sturdy cleaver. (Can use larger chunks.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 to 1 cup pork lard or vegetable oil (have more on hand if needed, but this has been enough for me)
2 cups finely chopped onions (can include some really large chunks for texture variation, but do finely chop most)
1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers (can include some really large chunks)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 package crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked brown rice (if preferred instead of rice, consider adding 1-2 chunked boiling potatoes ... or salt and brown potatoes in oven before adding to the soup)
Combine seasoning mix ingredients in a small container. Rub meat on both sides with mix .
Roll backbones in flour, shaking off excess. Reserve 1/2 cup leftover flour for the roux (a mixture of fat and flour heated and used as a basis for sauces).
Heat lard or oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile, combine the onions, bell peppers and celery and set aside.
Brown the backbones well on both sides in the hot fat and drain on paper towels. (Brown means BROWN, you want it to be darkened and a bit crusty, not just cooked-looking.)
Heat broth in a large soup pot to a rolling boil. Add the backbones and cook just until meat is tender (30-60 minutes). Add mushrooms at some point during this step. If you have large chunks of vegetables, add them during this step as well. If using potatoes, salt and roast in oven while soup is cooking or add directly to the broth and cook.
Meanwhile, pour off all but about 1/2 cup of fat from the skillet, leaving the little pieces of stuff. Turn heat to medium or high (depending on your stove) and heat just until fat begins to smoke (DON'T BURN). Slowly stir in the reserved 1/2 cup flour (don't use more!) with a long handled metal whisk and cook whisking constantly until roux is dark red-brown about 4 minutes. Don't let it scorch or splash on your skin. Immediately add the vegetable mixture and stir veggies about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the roux/veggie mixture by spoonfuls to the soup, gently stirring until well blended between each addition. Lower heat to simmer and cook uncovered until meat is falling off bones, about another hour, stirring all the time. After half hour add red wine. If stew gets too thick add more broth or water.
Serve immediately in bowls over cooked rice (if not using potatoes).