Monday, March 21, 2011

Posole Rojo

It's cold and rainy. Probably not many cold days left, so the hearty soup / stew season is moving behind us. Perhaps one last hurrah before we go with somewhat lighter fare? What better way to send it off than with Posole Rojo?

Posole rojo is a rich red chili broth with shredded pork and hominy. A colleague of mine has brought it to work a few times, given me a recipe and now I'll give it a shot. I won't follow her recipe  to the letter, as I've looked up a few versions on line.

The stew gets it's name from the Hominy  - a large kernel  dried corn which has been soaked in slaked line to remove the skin and germ. It has been used by Native American cultures for a long time and it is common in southern and Mexican cooking.

Here is my take based on a combination of recipes. You could use chicken for a lighter dish.

4 lbs more or less of pork - shoulder or country style ribs ( the meat shouldn't be too lean)
3 15oz cans of hominy drained and rinsed
1 bunch of cilantro tied
10 cups water
1 to 1.5 heads of garlic peeled  and divided
1 tsp oregano
1 large white onion - quartered (plus 1/2 cup more chopped for chili mixture)
5 whole peppercorns
2 oz  dried New Mexico Chilies - (wiped off)
2 oz dried ancho chilis - (wiped off)
2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbs oil


In large pot add the pork and the water. Bring to a boil. skim off any scum, reduce heat to a simmer.

Add cilantro about 20 cloves of garlic, quartered onion, oregano, salt and simmer uncovered until pork is very tender - about 2 hours.

While the  pork simmers, put a kettle of water on to boil.

Stem and seed the chilies.

Roast the chilies in a dry cast iron pan over medium heat until they get a little softer and the color changes slightly.

Transfer the chilies to a bowl and pour 2.5 cups boiling water over the top, cover bowl with a plate and allow to soften for half an hour.

Puree the chilies with 1.5 cups of the soaking liquid the chopped onion, 5-6 more cloves of garlic  and 3/4 tbs salt in a blender until a smooth paste forms.


In the heavy pan you roasted the chilies in, heat oil  over medium heat. Add the chili puree (careful! it may spatter) cook  for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; it will thicken up. remove from heat and set aside.

When pork is done simmering (2+ hours) remove pork to a platter, strain broth into large enough container to hold it all. Discard the cilantro and peppercorns.

Transfer the garlic and onion  with 1.5 cups of broth to a food processor or blender and puree.

Pour the broth and puree back into the large pot.

Shred the pork and discard the bones - add the shredded pork back to the broth.

Rinse and drain the hominy.

Add the chili puree and the hominy , stir well, simmer for 30 more minutes - or a few hours.

Serve hot with fried tortilla strips,

diced avocado, shredded lettuce, lime wedges, or diced onion as garnish.

This is a satisfying if time consuming dish. Perfect for a cold and damp day!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. That does look good! I'd have to leave out the cilantro, because I am allergic to it. Does the hominy taste a bit like sweet corn but not so sweet? I don't recall ever having eaten it.

  2. Discovered Pozole on my spicy soups tour of 2010- Delicious! (and a bit more palatable to me than the menudo...)
    P Rudd

  3. Mark, you could leave the cilantro out. Not all recipes call for it. I had it so I used it. Hominy is large, much larger than fresh sweet corn, it is also not sweet. In a pinch perhaps substitute a starchy potatoe in small dice. If you do that, add it late in the cooking process.


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