Red posole (pozole) soup, a traditional Mexican stew, is a classic comfort food recipe made with dried chilis, pork, and hominy.
Growing up, my mom always had a jar or two of hominy in the pantry. Having lived in Mexico to teach English for several years while my dad attended medical school, it was one of her favorite staples to keep on hand. She would often add it to chicken soup to create pozole (or posole), an authentic Mexican dish.
Garnished with fresh lime juice, shredded cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes, nothing is more comforting in the cold winter months than a giant bowl of posole.
Fast forward to today, I still keep a jar of hominy in the kitchen just like my mom so that I’m prepared whenever the craving strikes. Which happened recently in a big way after hearing all about the amazing posole rojo my friend Raul ate at a family birthday party.
Clearly, I only had one option: it was time to get busy in the kitchen and recreate it for myself. Filled with tender chunks of pork and protein-packed white hominy, the real star of the dish is actually the homemade red chili paste.
While intimidating at first, it is nothing more than dried chilis that are reconstituted in boiling water then pureed with onions, garlic and salt. Easy peasy.
The end result? A rich, aromatic pork and hominy stew that will feed a crowd and nourish the soul. Trust me on this one friend, you want a bowl of this.
Your spoon is waiting.
Frequently asked questions:
Is this posole rojo spicy?
If you remove the seeds from the chilis it won’t be. The heat is all in the stems and pith so if you remove the seeds/pitch, it is totally mild!!
Does this recipe freeze well?
Can I prepare the day before and reheat?
Yes. This dish can be prepared in advance.
How many chilies are used?
Four ounces by weight so the total number of chilis varies based on how big they are. Usually, I use around 12. Basically you toast them in a dry pan for extra flavor then soak with hot water before pureeing in a blender then straining.
Can beef be used instead of pork?
Yes. Beef can be used instead of pork.
Can this be made on a stovetop?
If you want to cook on a stovetop not much will change. Just simmer the posole on the stovetop and heat on low! Should be ready in an hour or so.
Slow Cooker Posole Rojo Stew
- 4 ounces dried chilis (combination of ancho,guajillo, chili de arbol or chilis of choice)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (cut in large chunks)
- 1 tablespoon salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano (divided)
- 8 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 2 15- ounce cans white hominy (drained and rinsed)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 6 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
- 2 limes (juiced)
- Remove the stems from each chili shaking out as many seeds as possible and place in a large bowl. Cover chilis with boiling water and top with an upside down plate to keep submerged. Let sit until softened, at least 30 minutes.
- While chilis are softening, heat a deep pan over high heat and drizzle with canola oil. Sprinkle pork chunks with 2 teaspoons of the salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Brown pork in a pan until pieces start to form a crust. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
- Once the pork is seared, remove from pan and place in the slow cooker insert.
- Add chicken broth, hominy and remaining 1 tablespoon oregano to the slow cooker.
- To make the red chili paste, place softened chilis and 1 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid into a blender or food processor. Add onion, garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon salt then puree until smooth.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour chili paste over the strainer. Use a spatula to push the chili paste through removing any large pieces. Taste paste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed.
- Pour chili paste into the slow cooker and stir well. Heat on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Add lime juice to the posole before serving, being sure to add salt or pepper if necessary. Serve stew in bowls with optional garnishes.