Red posole (pozole) soup, a traditional Mexican stew, is a classic comfort food recipe made with dried chilis, pork, and hominy.
What is Posole?
Posle is an thick soup that is commonly found in Mexico or the U.S. SouthWest that contains Hominy. The soup is normally comprised of slow cooked pork, chilis and a number of yummy toppings. Favorite garnishes include fresh lime juice, shredded cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes.
What is Hominy?
Hominy is the main grain in Posole. Hominy is a product of maize corn kernals that have been soaked in a lime solution to soften the hulls which are then removed. Hominy can be found either in the canned vegtables section of a supermarket or your ethnic section if you have one. Canned Hominy is common but you can make your own by located dry hominy (I recomend Goya as a brand). Dried hominy cooks in a similar fashion to if you’re cooking dried beans.
What makes Posole red?
The chili paste you make. While it may sound intimidating at first, it is nothing more than red chilis (dried) that are reconstituted in boiling water then pureed with onions, garlic and salt. Easy peasy.
Adjusting the spice level:
Adjusting the spice level is all in the chilis. Posole doesn’t have to be 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!!
If you’re trying to figure out how many chilis to use go by weight of the total amount of chilis. Four onces is my magic number and usually use around 12 to accomplish that. From there you toast them in a dry pan for extra flavor then soak with hot water before pureeing in a blender then straining.
Your spoon is waiting.
Frequently asked questions:
Does this recipe freeze well?
Can I prepare the day before and reheat?
Yes. This dish can be prepared in advance.
Can beef be used instead of pork?
Yes. Beef or chicken 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.