Best Posole Recipes
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Top Rated Posole Recipes
For those from the Southwest and Texas, posole needs no introduction. It's a long-simmered, heart-warming, traditional pre-Columbian soup from Mexico that's traditionally made with pig's head, nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, chile peppers, and meat — usually pork. Filling, flavorful, hearty — posole would seem to be a soup that should be more renowned. But the cooking time associated with traditional posole recipes often deters home cooks; between preparing hominy and boiling the pig's head, many are inclined to put off making the soup. Which is why not so long ago, it was interesting to note one attempt to bottle the soup.Featured Interview: Sharon Ely, founder of Holy PosoleIt's also why this homemade, largely healthy, set-it-and-forget-it recipe for posole verde with chicken is a godsend. Light, flavorful, bright and colorful, it's a delicious bowl of soup to brace against the elements with. Just don't forget the accoutrements. They're the difference between a good bowl of soup, and a great one.
BEST Pozole Rojo
One of the most iconic Mexican dishes, this “ultimate” Pozole Rojo recipe is PACKED with deliciously bold and robust flavors that will absolutely WOW your taste buds!
Pozole in Mexico is like chicken noodle soup in the United States – it’s a dish so engrained in our culture, traditions and way of life that it’s practically indispensable at the family table. Imagining life without it is, well, unimaginable. And on a cold and drizzly day or in the midst of feeling under the weather and needing some nutritious comfort, you just can’t beat a hot bowl pozole rojo.
One of Mexico’s most iconic and popular dishes, pozole (some spell it posole) is served in Mexican restaurants worldwide. This traditional stew is popular in three varieties: Blanco (white) , Verde (green) and Rojo (red). As the names suggest, pozole verde is made with a green sauce (and usually chicken), pozole rojo is made with a red sauce, and pozole blanco is made without either green or red sauce.
Today we’re making a pozole rojo recipe that incorporates a sauce made from roasted red chiles and garlic and has a depth of flavor that is simply unforgettable.
Pozole is the Spanish word for “hominy”. Hominy are dried maize/corn kernels that have gone through a process called nixtamalization in which the dried kernels are soaked in lime to soften the outer hulls. The kernels are then washed and the hulls are removed, leaving them nice and chewy. Hominy has been a staple food throughout Mexico for centuries. In fact, this famous pozole stew dates back to pre-hispanic times to the Aztecs.
One of the fun features about this stew is its wide and colorful array of garnishes. Shredded cabbage, sliced red radishes, diced avocados, chopped cilantro and sliced limes are traditional and you can add any other toppings you like such as fried tortilla strips, sliced jalapeños or crema. Pozole Rojo is the king of add-ins!
Why “ultimate”? The flavor of this pozole rojo is especially rich and robust from the addition of the homemade roasted red chile sauce, the smoked paprika and the addition of masa harina for an extra boost of delicious corn flavor that the hominy alone can’t provide. Your taste buds will be WOWED!
An absolute and non-negotiable key to making the ultimate pozole roja is making your own authentic red chile sauce. Don’t even think twice about it. Just make it.
Here is the recipe: Homemade Authentic Enchilada Sauce.
This prize-worthy stew also deserves the very best chicken broth as its base, which is why we’re using our favorite chicken broth from Aneto, made in Spain. We’ve been fans for years and visited their factory in Barcelona a couple of years ago where we watched the entire broth-making process from start to finish. It was one of the most inspiring things we’ve ever seen.
Aneto selects fresh, free-range chicken and the freshest vegetables and slow-simmer it in gigantic pots for several hours to produce the highest quality broths on the market. No concentrates, powders, artificial ingredients, “natural flavors”, GMO’s, fillers or flavor enhancers of any kind. Just pure, whole, real ingredients.
You can read more about why we love Aneto broths so much and what sets them apart HERE.
Their chicken broth can be purchased here on Amazon and in stores throughout the U.S. See list of store locations.
And if you’re a paella fan, you MUST try their Valencian and Seafood paella cooking bases – incredible!
Back to our Ultimate Pozole Rojo recipe!
This recipe makes a large batch on purpose – it’s so good you WILL want seconds. And so will your guests. What’s more, you’ll be so happy to have leftovers the next day or two, I promise!
Rub the pork down with a little salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Heat the lard/oil over high heat in a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven and sear the pork on all sides until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium-high and add the onions, cooking until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another minute.
Return the pork roast and add the chicken broth. Add the Homemade Authentic Red Chile Sauce along with the bay leaves, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano and smoked paprika.
Simmer covered over low heat for 2-3 hours or until the roast is fork tender and falls apart.
Transfer the roast to a plate and use two forks to shred the meat.
Return the shredded pork to the pot, stir in the masa harina and add the drained hominy.
Simmer covered for another hour. Stir in the cilantro and simmer another 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with shredded green cabbage, sliced red radishes, diced avocado, sliced limes, chopped cilantro and anything else your heart desires! Want some crunch? Add some toasted tortilla strips.
- 2 pounds pork loin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- water to cover
- 4 cups hominy
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ cup shredded cabbage for garnish
- 1 small head cabbage, shredded
- 1 tablespoon onion
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
In a large pot over high heat, combine the pork, salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for two hours, skimming foam as necessary.
Remove from heat and take the bones out of the stock. Cool and de-fat the stock. Remove pork from bones and return meat to stock. Add the hominy and chili powder and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
Serve by placing soup in bowls. Each diner then adds their own cabbage, radishes, onion and lime juice to taste. Eat by dipping spoon deep down to bottom of bowl, lifting to bring up the meat, hominy, soup and layered vegetables.
- 1 pound pork loin, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 serrano peppers, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 2 (15 ounce) cans hominy, drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
Season pork with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork in hot oil until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate and return pot to heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir onion and 2 tablespoons water in hot pot until water has evaporated and onion is soft and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, serrano peppers, cumin, and coriander cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir 2 cups water, chicken broth, and tomatoes into onion mixture. Whisk in cornmeal and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring often add hominy, pork, salt, and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and hominy mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.
How to Store or Freeze Pozole
This recipe makes enough for a large crowd with plenty of leftovers! The leftovers will keep, refrigerated, for about a week or can be frozen for up to three months.
To freeze, transfer the pozole to freezer containers or bags with as little air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and warm over low heat on the stovetop.
Cooking the corn. The most careful cooks like to remove the hard, pointy end—the germ—of each lime-treated corn kernel (nixtamal) so that the kernels will splay into a rough flower shape as they cook. A fingernail or small knife works well for this job, as does a lot of patience. (This step is impractical when using American Southwestern dried pozole)
Into a large (10-quart or so) pot, measure in 6 quarts of water and add the corn (either the rinsed nixtamal or the dried corn) and garlic. Bring to a boil, partially cover the pot and simmer gently over medium-low heat until the corn is thoroughly tender—at a minimum allow 2 to 3 hours for nixtamal, about 5 hours for the dried corn. Add water as necessary to keep the water level more-or-less constant. Slower, longer cooking only means better pozole, as evidenced by the fact that in many places in Mexico huge pots of the fragrant mixture simmer over wood fires overnight before a fiesta.
The meat. While the corn is simmering, cook the meat. Place the meats in another large pot, cover with 4 quarts water and add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, skim off the grayish foam that rises during the next few minutes, then add 1 of the chopped onions. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until all the meat is thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. (If time allows, cool the meat in the broth for the best flavor and texture.)
Remove the meat from the broth and let cool. Skim the fat from the broth you’ll have 2 generous quarts broth. Pull off the meat from the pork shanks in large shreds. Also pull the shoulder meat into large shreds. Cut the bones and knuckles out of the trotters. Discard bones and knuckles, then chop what remains into ½-inch pieces. Add to the shredded meat (there will be about 6 cups of meat in all). Cover and refrigerate if not serving within an hour.
Seasoning the pozole. While the corn and meat are cooking, rehydrate the ancho chiles in enough hot water to cover (lay a small plate on top to keep them submerged) for about 20 minutes. Puree the mixture (liquid and all) in batches in a blender or food processor. When the corn is tender, press the chile mixture through a medium-mesh strainer (this removes tough chile skins) directly into the simmering pot. Add the pork broth and 1 tablespoon salt, partially cover and simmer 1 hour.
Serving. When you’re ready to serve, set out bowls of the condiments for your guests to add to their steaming, fragrant bowlfuls al gusto: lime wedges, sliced cabbage or lettuce, sliced radishes, oregano and optional chile. Scoop the remaining chopped onion into a strainer, rinse under cold water, shake off the excess, then place into a bowl and set out with the other condiments.
Add the meat to the simmering pozole and check the consistency: it should look hearty—chock full of hominy with bits of meat—but brothy enough to be thought of as a soup or brothy stew. Taste the pozole and season with additional salt if you think it’s necessary. Since hominy soaks up a surprising amount of salt, you may need as much as another tablespoon.
Either serve your pozole extravaganza (brothy stew plus garnishes and go-withs) buffet-style, or ladle portions of the pozole into large soup bowls, deliver them to your guests, then pass around the condiments. Before sprinkling it over the bowl, the whole-leaf oregano is powdered by each guest by rubbing it between the palms. The crushed red chile is for those who really like spice. The tostadas are eaten as an accompaniment on the side.
Working Ahead: Pozole prepared through Step 3 keeps very well—even improves—for several days, refrigerated. The biggest hurdle for most cooks is cooling it down quickly enough (I highly recommend immediately dividing finished pozole into at least four 2- to 3-quart containers for quick cooling) and finding enough space in the refrigerator. Complete Step 4 shortly before serving.
- radishes, sliced or diced
- lime wedges
- tortilla chips
- red onion
- shredded lettuce
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CONFUSED ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CHILI POWDERS? I’ve got the details in my article What is Chili Powder?
Red Pork Pozole Recipe
Keyword ancho chile, hominy, pasilla chile, pork, soup, stew
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
- 3 pounds boneless pork leg or pork shoulder
- 2 25 oz. cans of hominy drained and rinsed
- 5 ancho chiles
- 5 guajillo chiles
- ½ white onion
- 3 arból chiles optional, use if you want a spicier broth
- 3 cloves of garlic + 1 head of garlic
- 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tsp sea salt + to taste 3 tsp. is the minimum. Add ½ tsp. at a time then stir well. Taste and repeat until the desired flavor is reached.
- ½ head of cabbage shredded
- 1 large white onion diced
- 6 radishes sliced into half moons
- 6 limes quartered
- 4 tbsp Mexican oregano
- 6 arból chiles finely chopped
- Salt as needed
Pork and Pork Broth
Assembling Your Pozole
Prepare the Garnishes
- You can add a pinch of cumin to deepen the flavor of the broth.
- You can substitute 2 cups of water for 2 cups of chicken stock to enrich the flavor.
More Mexican Soups & Stews
New Mexico chiles are sold at Latin markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets. Look for dried hominy at natural foods stores.
Red chile purée
Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse and dry chiles place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until puffed, fragrant, and a slightly darker red, 5–6 minutes. Let cool.
Wearing gloves, use scissors to stem and halve chiles lengthwise. Discard seeds for less heat. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with 6 cups water. Add onion and garlic season with salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook until chiles are soft, 25–30 minutes.
Drain chile mixture, reserving liquid. Purée mixture and 1½ cups liquid in a blender until smooth, adding more liquid if needed for a sauce that can coat a spoon. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
DO AHEAD: Purée can be made 5 days ahead. Cover chill.
Season pork shoulder and ham hocks with 1 Tbsp. salt. Rub garlic, chili powder, and cumin all over pork set aside. Pork can be marinated 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Drain hominy. Transfer to a large heavy pot add 12 cups water. Stud each onion with 1 clove add to pot with 2 Tbsp. salt and bay leaves. Cover bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered and stirring often, until hominy begins to soften, about 1 hour (hominy takes longer to cook than pork, so give it a jump start).
Add pork shoulder and ham hocks to hominy pour in water to cover by 1”. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed to keep ingredients submerged, until hominy is tender and pork is very tender and falling apart, 2–2½ hours. Remove onions, bay leaves, and hocks. Discard onions and let hocks cool slightly pick meat from bones and discard any cartilage, skin, and fat. Return meat to pot and stir in ¾ cup red chile purée. Season to taste with salt and more red chile purée, if desired.
Divide posole among bowls. Serve with remaining red chile purée and garnishes.
Because the dominant flavors are lightly spicy and tart, a rich but unoaked white wine will pair well consider a smooth Alsace Pinot Gris.
This recipe doubles beautifully and is in my permanent rotation of pot dishes. This is a delicious, fool proof recipe. Consider adding a lot more hominy! Also, use chicken stock instead of water. You probably can omit the extra liquid altogether--this will yield a thicker soup. Highly recommended!
So so good! Just like our favorite restaurant’s in town. So easy, totally surprised. Family favorite for sure!
I LOVE THIS! But my friends do not. They pulled faces. Apparently, this tangy soup is an acquired taste. which I have definitely acquired! I made it exactly as specified, except that I used only one large chicken breast and four cans of hominy. A mere difference in emphasis. This has inspired me to look for more recipes that incorporate blended peppers, cilantro, tomatillos, garlic, etc. What an amazing, zingy flavor bomb!
Do. Not. Use. Lettuce. Use thinly chopped cabbage. Lettuce is a common mistake. Hot or rice is just wrong and not Mexican in any way.
My chicken breasts seemed a bit above average, and I wish the recipe had cups of shredded chicken so I could figure out how much I really needed. I had to guesstimate. Also, it would be helpful to give a rough idea of how much salt and pepper works best. Otherwise, it turned out great.
So. this has been a go-to fall/winter recipe for me for many years for pot-lucks, book club and in-home company. I usually use Costco rotisserie chicken rather than cooking it from scratch. This time, when the mood struck, I tweaked the recipe a little: roasted the veggies lightly, toasted the hominy, made cilantro/broth sauce separately and added at the end to add color. Also added a bit of shredded fennel to the mix just to use it up. Well, the broth is beyond heavenly but I ruined it by using defrosted frozen chicken that tastes like freezer burn. Dammit
all in all, this is a great recipe that doesn't require roasting and skinning the peppers (what a waste of time). Five stars from me.
Recipe: Instant Pot Pozole Rojo
When you’re busy (or have a hangover), use your cooker to quickly make a flavorful stock for this beloved Mexican stew.
There is one ingredient all versions of this Mexican stew have in common, and it’s right there in the name. Pozole, or hominy, is dried corn that has been preserved through a process called nixtamalization. Once nixtamalized, the kernels can be ground and turned into masa (and, subsequently, tortillas or tamales or what have you), or boiled until tender, like little corn dumplings. This latter treatment flavors all versions of pozole. Put another way, it’s not pozole without pozole.
And it’s not exceptional pozole without amazing stock. I asked Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman , executive chef at José in Dallas, for advice on developing this pozole recipe for the Instant Pot. “The best pozoles start with the broth or stock,” she said. “Depth is key with pozole. You should almost still feel it on your lips even after you’ve taken the last sip.” She should know: her version of pozole verde with chicken, tomatillos, and poblanos is a knockout. At home, Quiñones-Pittman prefers pozole rojo, with pork. “It has dried chiles like ancho and guajillo instead of fresh, and it has a richer broth because you simmer the pork for a few hours.”
When you don’t have time to go the traditional route , the pressure-cook function on your Instant Pot can make a pretty great stock I’ve included a quick chicken stock recipe below. Or you can use the highest quality store-bought stock you can find. It might not be quite as rich as Quiñones-Pittman ’s long-simmered version, but it will do in a crunch if you’re in the middle of a busy weekend or need a hangover cure (it works, she says!). Serve this with plentiful garnishes, as listed below, and share with family and friends.
Photograph by Jenn Hair
Instant Pot Pozole Rojo
2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 cups boiling water
1 small onion, cut into quarters
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces (boneless or bone-in are fine if bone-in, keep the bone and add to the stock during the 20-minute pressure cook)
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups chicken stock (store-bought or use recipe below)
1 bay leaf
1 30-ounce can white hominy, drained
Thinly sliced radishes
Finely diced white onion
- Place the chiles in a heat-safe blender (or heat-safe bowl if your blender pitcher is plastic), and cover with the boiling water. Set aside and let cool completely. Once cool, add onion, garlic, and oregano to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Season the pork with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. When hot, add the oil, and carefully brown the pork pieces (8-12 minutes, about 4 minutes per side). Remove the pork with tongs and set aside.
- Turn off the sauté function. The Instant Pot will remain hot. Carefully add the chile puree—watch for splattering—and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown porky bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
- Use the chicken stock to rinse out the blender and add to the Instant Pot along with the pork, bay leaf, a large pinch of salt, and a good amount of black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Set Instant Pot to cook for 20 minutes at high pressure. Release the pressure manually.
- Carefully remove the bay leaf and add the hominy. Stir. Set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure manually. Serve with any/all of the garnishes you please.
Instant Pot Chicken Stock
Leftover bones from 1 roast chicken (or buy a rotisserie chicken and reserve the meat for another purpose)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled
2 stalks celery, broken in half
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Small bunch parsley
A few sprigs of thyme
A large pinch of black peppercorns