My mother spent several of her young adult years living in New Mexico and that’s where she first learned to cook. My favorite of her dishes was always posole, a pork stew with hominy, cooked all day until the pork is falling apart tender and the hominy is soft and chewy having absorbed the flavors of the soup. The house always smelled amazing when she cooked this dish and I could hardly wait to dip her homemade flour tortillas in the red, flavorful broth.
Many posole recipes call for canned hominy, but that just won’t do for my mom. She always uses dried hominy, which she soaked the night before. There’s something better about dried hominy than canned – it’s a texture thing I guess.
My mom doesn’t use a recipe but I never remember how she makes it. She just gifted me some dried hominy and New Mexico chiles for Christmas so I thought I would finally get down a recipe on my blog so I can stop hounding her every time I want to make it.
Traditionally posole is served with flour tortillas and a variety of fresh ingredients such as chopped cabbage, sliced avocado, sliced radishes, chopped green onions, cilantro and lime wedges. Since my mom’s posole is more stewlike than soupy we skip the salad toppings and just opt for the tortillas to sop up the rich broth. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family does!
Posole Rojo – in the style of my mother, Rachel
12 oz. dried hominy, soaked in water overnight
6-8 dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2.5-3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into cubes
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
4-6 cups chicken stock
3-5 cups water
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato sauce or marinara sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
The night before, place the dried hominy in a pot and cover with several inches of cold water. Cover and let sit overnight. Drain and set aside when ready to make posole.
Heat a cast iron skillet on high and toast the dried peppers on both sides, being sure not to burn them. Set chiles aside. When cool, use scissors to cut a slit up the side of each pepper. This will make them easier to scrape later.
Heat a large dutch oven with the olive oil. Pat dry the pork, lightly salt it, and add half of the pork to the dutch oven. Brown on both sides, set aside and add the rest of the pork to brown. Set second batch of pork aside, pour out most of the fat, leaving a little bit for the vegetables.
Add the onion, scraping up any fond that developed on the bottom of the pot as the onions release water. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add 4 cups of stock, 3 cups of water, the bay leaves, oregano, tomato sauce, pork, hominy and the chiles. If there were any bones with your pork, add them too. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer for several hours until pork is very tender and hominy is soft. If the hominy absorbs too much liquid during cooking, add more stock or water to keep it soupy.
When pork and hominy are tender, remove the chile skins with tongs and let cool. If any pulp remains on the inside of the skins, scrape it off with a spoon and place back into the pot. Discard chile skins.
Serve with flour tortillas and accoutrements such as chopped cabbage, sliced avocado, sliced radishes, chopped green onions, cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.