Wintertime in Texas means it can be 80˚ one week and snowy the next. On Monday, the forecast mentioned snow for Friday (yeah right) but this time I decided to believe it for the sole hope of getting to stay home and enjoy a big, steamy pot of red chile pork posole.
This morning when I looked out my window, I found that my hope was not in vain!
Wahoo! Snow! Wahoo! Posole!
So…what is posole (pronounced po-SO-lay)? It’s a magical stew of pork and red chile broth, shredded/cubed pork, and hominy which is then topped with diced onions, oregano and lime juice. Once you have it, you will want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Christmas, Momma welcomed us home with a massive pot of it, and I’ve been craving a bowl ever since.
If you were raised near the Mexican border, you are most likely familiar with the whole salty/hot/sour combo and chances are you love it. For those of you who are not used to this combo, get ready for your new favorite flavor!
Authentic Mexican Red Chile Pork Posole
CONFESSION: I must admit that posole is not a one-pot meal. It’s more of an all-day, multiple-dirty-dishes kind of meal. But that’s what snow days are for! So if you enjoy food that takes a little time and love to prepare, get yourself a big bag of dried red chile and let’s get started. I prefer preparing the first half of this recipe the night before so please excuse the dark photos.
Step 1: The Chile Sauce
Empty one large bag or roughly 1 pound of dried red chiles (stems removed) into a large stock pot. Cover just barely with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat and go watch an episode of FRIENDS or a novela while the chilies cool.
Now: GO PUT ON AN UGLY SHIRT YOU NO LONGER CARE ABOUT. This is a messy job. But if you want a good chile base, you’re gonna have to face the mess with gusto. But don’t worry, it’s all worth it. 🙂
Puree the chile in 3 or 4 batches in a blender. For each batch, fill the blender halfway with chiles, add a couple ladles of the chile liquid and a large clove of garlic. Puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining chiles, adding a large clove of garlic to each blender-full.
Pass the chile through a sieve to remove all the skins and seeds.
When all is said and done you should have about 7-8 cups of pureed red chile. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. You will also have a lot of leftover chile water. Reserve about 4 cups of this just in case!
Now, go throw that red-speckled shirt away. 🙂
Step 2: The Pork
Pork shoulder, pork butt, pork loin–use whatever floats your boat. In this recipe, I used 3 pounds of pork shoulder.
Place pork in a crock-pot along with one large, sliced onion (or 2 medium onions) and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add 4 cups of water and cook on “low” for 6 hours or on “high” for 3 until pork is fork-tender.
Allow meat to cool before placing in fridge overnight.The next day, skim any thick fat from the surface of the meat and discard. Shred pork and transfer it and all juices to an 8-quart or larger pot.
Cook’s Note: Don’t have a pot that large? Split the recipe between 2 pots. Or cut the recipe in half. Naw…just kidding. You’ll want the full recipe.
Step 3: Cook Posole
Now that all the preparation is out of the way, things will move fast. I promise. No more fooling around.
To the pork add:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano (it’s really best if you use “Mexican” oregano)
- 4 cups of the red chile puree
- 1 6 lb. can hominy, drained
Stir all the ingredients together until well-combined.
Cook’s Note: I had you make more chile puree than you needed on purpose. Freeze it for later use in some amazing enchiladas or deshebrada!
If the soup is too thick, pour in a cup of the reserved chile water to loosen:
Heat over medium-high heat until the posole starts to bubble, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Stir and cook until heated through, about 20-30 minutes.
Now your posole is ready to devour….NOT!!!
For the full posole experience, you need two things:
- MORE oregano
- LOTS of fresh lime juice
Ay, I almost forgot! You will also need one of these for dipping:
A warm, soft bolillo can be found at your local Mexican bakery or grocery store bakery. If anything, a yeast roll oughta do. Once you have your bolillo and have crowned your posole with mucho oregano and lime, you are ready to eat. And eat. And eat.
A full posole-meter sure feels good again. Thanks, Momma, for sharing your recipe!
- 1 lb dried red chiles, stems removed
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 lbs lean pork roast (I use shoulder or tenderloin)
- 1 teaspoon oregano (preferably “Mexican” oregano)
- 6 lb. can hominy, drained
- Place chiles in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Turn heat off and allow chiles to cool.
- To puree, fill blender 3/4th ways with chiles. Add a couple ladles of the liquid from the pot along with a large clove of garlic. Puree until smooth and pour through a strainer into a large bowl to remove seeds and skins. Repeat this process until all the chiles are pureed.
- Reserve a few cups of the chile liquid!
- Place pork in a large crock pot. Rub 2 teaspoons of salt over the surface and toss in the sliced onion. Add 1 cup of water, cover and cook for 6 hours on “low” or 3 hours on “high” or until meat is fork-tender. Allow pork to cool slightly before shredding.
- Combine the pork, 4 cups of the pureed red chile, oregano, 2 Tablespoons of salt and the hominy in a large pot. Stir in a cup or two of the reserved chile liquid. Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until hot.
- Serve and garnish with minced onion, more oregano, lots of lime juice and a sprinkle of red chile flakes.
Have you ever enjoyed posole or it’s tripe-containing twin menudo?