Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

I was introduced to Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew (Pozole Rojo) in Denver when one of my co-workers bought it to nearly every office “food day.” Those in the “know” snuck away to the buffet table before lunch to get some before it was all gone. Now, I’d like to introduce you! Succulent pork and hominy swimming in a rich, garlicky, chile-based broth; the taste is reminiscent of tamales.

Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

Posole, Pozole, a rich pork and hominy stew.


 

The Pozole Pork Hominy Stew was so good, I couldn’t wait for his giant slow cooker to show up every few weeks on Food Days. I had to learn to make it myself. Over the years, I teased a few secrets out of the cook and added a few of my own, so I don’t feel too bad about sharing this recipe. Well, perhaps just a twinge because I can’t give any credit; I’ve long since lost contact with many of the Denver crowd and never want to share too much information without permission.

About Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew:

If you’ve never had Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, you’re in for a treat. Yes, it’s good as is, but just like my Vietnamese Pho, the fun is in the garnishes. Cilantro, lime, thinly sliced radishes, cabbage, and onion are placed on a platter and everyone can garnish to their heart’s content.

Pozole is often made for celebratory events in the Southwest because honestly, you can’t make just a little. In my opinion? Having a big pot of Pozole is reason enough to celebrate! Just make a big pot of Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, invite your friends and family and pass the soup and the platters. There’s something about sharing and passing plates that just makes this meal interactive and fun. And don’t forget the hot sauce.

This Pozole Pork Hominy Stew is made with pork but Pozole has a long and rather grim history. Believe me, you won’t want to make an authentic one! While the best Red Pozoles of all are said to be made with dried hominy (wonderful if you can find it) and a pig or sheep’s head, most people I’ve known simply use the canned hominy (although I do give directions for dried) and pork ribs and/or shoulder instead if those options.

Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

Posole – the fun is really in the garnishes!

Making Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew:

I really have two recipes for  Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, below. One is a real deal from scratch, slowly simmered to perfection Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, using a meaty cut of pork with bones for such fantastic flavor. The other is a “shortcut” Pozole Pork Hominy Stew that’s a go-to after I make my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. I’ll give you both recipes and methods, below.

When I make the slowly simmered from-scratch version of my Pozole, I use a single type of pork or a combination. I look to use something that has bones because that long simmer coaxes out any collagen and draws out any marrow and makes the pozole rich, silky and lovely. Sometimes I use a bone-in pork shoulder. Sometimes I use the rib tips and flap meat from when I make barbecue ribs. When I trim the ribs I just toss the tips and flap meat in the freezer and when I have enough, I make Pozole. You can also make Pozole with a rack of ribs but that’s a pricy option.

The second recipe, the “shortcut” Pozole I make from my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. I usually use a large pork shoulder when I do that recipe, so it’s easy to set aside a chunk of that barbecue flavored pork without causing any undo hardship. Then I use those juices (and there are always a lot with that slow cooker method) as a part of the liquid for the Pozole. Half the work is done for me! So many of those barbecue flavors easily morph right into the Mexican flavor profile of Pozole. I’ll give you both recipes and methods, below.

This recipe calls for the New Mexico Red Chile; these are the ones you might see made into wreaths or ristras They’re mild on the Scoville scale and have a bright flavor. If you can’t find them, substitute another type of chili of a reasonable heat, or a combination. Pozole should have a little personality but isn’t “hot.” An Ancho chili will work, or a Guajillo or a combination, and will give a deep, rich earthier flavor. Either variation is excellent.

Competition Barbecue Spare Ribs, Oven, Instant Pot or Smoked

Competition Barbecue Spare Ribs, Oven, Instant Pot or Smoked; Trimming for St. Louis Style Ribs.

Saving Money on Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew:

Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew is really a big, hearty pot of rich stew, so much more than just a “soup” brought to the table for a budget price. It’s classic comfort and perfect on a fall, winter or cold spring day.

Shop well for your pork shoulder; it’s cheapest in the fall or goes on special, dropping to a low usually once a quarter or so. I already mentioned saving the rib tips and flat meat when making ribs; it’s always left when trimming to a St. Louis Style Rack. You’ll want to save up trimmings from a couple sets of ribs to have enough for this stew, two or three, and this is a great way to make excellent use for them. Some people like to cook them for a bit of a chef’s snack, others toss it, but why, when they can be turned into a whole meal? Ribs ain’t cheap and you’ve paid for all of it.

Tortillas, in addition to the garnishes, can be served with Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew. Corn ones are more in the spirit of things. If you’d like to get fancy, thinly sliced tortillas, fried until crispy is always nice. A nice sturdy cornbread is great with Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, too. One that’s going to hold up if anyone wants to dip. However you serve it, though, I hope you love this Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew as much as we do!

Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

Pozole – Sometimes spelled Posole, a Pork & Hominy Stew

To Make Scratch Pozole:

New Mexican Pozole

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2 to 4 pounds of pounds bone-in pork shoulder, or the same amount of rib tips and flat meat trimmed from several racks of ribs; another pricier option is to use a rack of ribs
  • 12 cups water, or to cover meat by about two inches
  • 1 onion, peeled, left whole, studded with 4 cloves
  • 1 head of garlic, two cloves removed, rest cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 to 3 ounces New Mexican red chile (or substitute Ancho and/or Guajillo)
  • 2 to 3 cans (29 ounces each) of hominy, rinsed well (use 3 cand for a heartier, stew-like pozole, use two for a brothier one)
  • salt as desired (hominy can be salty; hold of on salt until it has simmered for a while.)
  • garnishes, below

In a large pot add pork, water, onion, garlic halves (minus the two reserved garlic cloves) and oregano. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until tender, one and a half to two hours.

In a dry skillet, lightly toast chile over a hot flame, turning often, until plump. Place in a small bowl and add enough water to cover. Weigh down with a plate or jar and soak for 30 minutes, longer is fine.

Remove chiles from water, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove stems and seeds. Place the chile in a blender with the reserved liquid. Peel the two cloves of garlic and add to blender. Do not process yet.

When meat is tender, remove the meat, onion, and garlic from the broth. When cool enough to handle, shred meat, discarding bones. Remove the cloves from the onion, add onion to blender. Discard the garlic halves or save to use in a salsa, dip or spread on toasted bread. Puree the chile mixture (with the onion and two cloves of garlic) and the reserved soaking liquid until smooth, adding a little broth if needed. Push the mixture through a sieve.

Skim the broth of excess fat. Add the shredded meat to the broth. Add the puree to the broth. Depending on personal taste, you may not with to add the full amount. Taste as you go. If you don’t use all the puree, pass at the table for those who wish to add more “oomph” to their pozole.

Rinse hominy well and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer, very gently, for thirty minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.

Garnish with thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced onion that has been soaked in water for 30 minutes and thinly sliced cabbage. Add avocado, lime, and cilantro to the garnishes, if desired.

Pozole will generally keep four to five days in the refrigerator and freezes very well.

 To Make Shortcut Pozole from Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:

While an absolutely true and steadfast Pozole lover may scoff a bit, some of my best Pozole is made from my Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker. The pulled pork gives out an extremely rich, flavorful broth, about two to three cups of concentrated goodness, that gels beautifully. It generally has flavors (usually a bbq rub) that meld well with the Mexican flavors of Pozole and rounds the Pozole flavors out nicely.

A pork roast will reduce in volume by about half when cooked & pulled. You’ll want to reserve about a pound of it in chunks, before it is shredded and before any sauce is added. Strain the juices, refrigerate and skim any fat.

Shortcut Pozole

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • any juices from Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, skimmed of fat, plus enough water (or broth) to make about 10 cups
  • 1 onion, peeled, left whole, studded with 4 cloves
  • 1 head of garlic, two cloves removed, rest cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 to 3 ounces New Mexican red chile (or substitute Ancho and/or Guajillo)
  • 2 to 3 cans (29 ounces each) of hominy, rinsed well (I use two, pozole should be thin, but if you’d like a heartier, stew-like pozole, use three)
  • about a pound of reserved pulled pork from Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  • salt as desired (hominy can be salty, hold off on the salt until Pozole has simmered for a while.)
  • garnishes, below

In a large pot add juices from the pulled pork plus enough water to make about 10 cups of liquid, onion studded with cloves, garlic halves (minus the two reserved cloves) and oregano. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until onion is tender about a half-hour.

In a dry skillet, lightly toast chile over a hot flame, turning often, until plump. Place in a small bowl and add enough water to cover. Weigh down with a plate or jar and soak for 30 minutes, longer is fine. Remove chiles from water, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove stems and seeds. Place the chiles in a blender with the reserved liquid. Peel the two cloves of garlic and add to blender. Do not blend yet. Once onion is tender, remove the onion and garlic from the broth. Remove the cloves from the onion, add onion to blender. Discard the garlic halves or since they are so flavorful, save to use in a salsa, dip or spread on toasted bread.

Puree the chile mixture (with the onion and two cloves of garlic) and the reserved soaking liquid until smooth, adding a little broth if needed. Push the mixture through a sieve.

Add the shredded meat to the broth. Add the puree to the broth. Depending on personal taste, you may not wish to add the full amount. Taste as you go. If you don’t use all the puree, pass at the table for those who wish to add more “oomph” to their pozole.

Rinse hominy well and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer, very gently, for thirty minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired.

Garnish with thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced onion that has been soaked in water for 30 minutes and thinly sliced cabbage. Add avocado, lime, and cilantro to the garnishes, if desired.

Pozole will generally keep four to five days in the refrigerator and freezes very well.

To Cook Dried Hominy:

Dried Hominy, after being cooked, will retain a chew not found in the canned hominy. Much less salty than canned, you will very likely need to add more salt to your Pozole.

Soak a pound of Prepared Hominy overnight in water to cover by two inches. Rinse, add to a large pot, cover generously with fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer briskly until tender. An onion may be added to the pot if desired. Timing will vary with the hominy. It may be tender in an hour or may take several hours.

If you like Pozole Pork Hominy Stew, you might also like:

Pozole Pork Hominy Stew (Posole) Succulent pork and hominy swimming in a rich, garlicky, chile-based broth; the taste is reminiscent of tamales. Traditional or Shortcut Methods. #Pozole #PozoleRojo #TraditionalPozoleRojo #Posole

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14 thoughts on “Posole or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew

  1. Pingback: Filling and full of flavor, this Mexican Pork Soup isn’t something you will want to pass up. – Cool Home Recipes

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  3. Love pozole! just made a big pot of green veggie pozole when the family was here after Christmas last week. Your version look so flavorful and bright!! Fun to find your blog!

      • Many New Mexicans make it without the chili sauce, and serve red or green on the side — so guests can mix in which and how much they want. So the first time I had it, I didn’t see the sauces or know their purpose, and I had it without (just the amount of green chili that was already in the stew)… and that’s the way I still like it best. It was so good, how could I want to tamper with it? LOL, they thought I was nuts for not knowing I was supposed to add sauce. But my ulcers can’t handle much chili anyway. Hugs.

        • See, i didn’t know this, but have traveled to NM many times when I lived in Colorado, so I know that they ask red or green (or Christmas) when you order many dishes in restaurants. I always say Green, though! 🙂

    • Suzanne, it is delicious! I wish I could have gotten a shot with all the garnishes.

      It’s easy to make and freezes well! Just follow the advice to rinse the hominy and add the pureed chile mixture to taste and you can’t go wrong!

      Now, if only I had a blondie for dessert….:)

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