Warming Red Pozole

By • November 30, 2010 55 Comments

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Author Notes: I didn't grow up eating pozole, but I sure fell in love with it once I tried it at Nopalito restaurant in San Francisco. Pozole is a fantastic stew of chiles, pork, and hominy that is often served around the holidays. I love that each person can customize their own bowl with their favorite combination of toppings. Nopalito uses watermelon radishes, which make the dish especially stunning. This version is easy to put together and you can make a big batch to keep on hand for visitors, potlucks, or just dinner for the family. It really feels warm and comforting, whether you grew up eating pozole or not. monkeymom

Food52 Review: WHO: Monkeymom is a Bay Area scientist and three-time Food52 contest winner.
WHAT: A crowd-feeding stew to keep on hand as the weather gets colder.
HOW: Toast and soak dried chiles, then purée them into a paste with sautéed onion and garlic. Brown pork shoulder on the stove, add stock, hominy, and the chile paste, and cook on low heat for a couple of hours. Top with sliced vegetables, crumbled cheese, and avocado.
WHY WE LOVE IT: When we imagine an autumn night -- strong winds blowing outside and a pot bubbling on the stove -- this is the stew in the pot. There’s only a few minutes of work to do before you can let it simmer away and develop its rich, spicy flavor. For a fall picnic (or to bring the soup to work): Ladle it into a thermos and pack up the toppings separately; assemble at your destination.
The Editors

Serves 10 to 12

  • 4 dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or country style ribs, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cans hominy, drained and rinsed
  • Water
  • Cabbage, shredded finely
  • Radishes, sliced thinly
  • Limes, quartered for squeezing
  • Avocado, cut into small chunks
  • Tortilla chips or corn tortillas
  • Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Crumbled queso fresco or your cheese of choice
  1. Toast chiles in a dry pan over high heat for a few minutes until slightly browned. As you heat them, they should puff up, soften, and become fragrant. Remove from pan, let cool, and cut or tear roughly. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them to soften them for 15 minutes.
  2. Add oil to a large, heavy pot and turn the flame to medium high. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions have soften and colored. Remove from heat.
  3. Add onions and garlic to a blender with the chiles and their liquid. Purée until smooth.
  4. Put pot back on high heat and brown the pork in two batches. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, salt, and pepper to each batch as the pieces brown. Add all pork back to pot along with chile liquid, chicken stock, oregano, and hominy. The liquid should completely cover the pork. Add water or more stock if necessary. Bring to boil then lower to simmer. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or cumin to suit your taste. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low heat for 2 hours.
  5. While the pozole cooks, get toppings ready.
  6. To serve: Ladle pozole into bowl. Top with cabbage, radishes, and any other toppings. Squeeze a healthy dose of lime juice into your bowl and dig in!

More Great Recipes: Cabbage|Pork|Entrees|Stews|Ribs

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Comments (55) Questions (0)


about 1 month ago btglenn

When using canned posole, make sure you get the ones marked Mexican style. They retain the flavor of the "cal" used to soften the corn.
I first ate posole in Southern Mexico where it did not use tomatoes or other red-making ingredients. You can also by "posole" hominy already prepared and softened in Mexican markets. Tastes better than canned, and a little more chewy. I now make my own version using part pork and part turkey thighs, and add some regular corn and carrot chunks for color. Adds to the taste as well. In Mexico, there are as many versions of posole as there are cooks to make it -- and each region also makes its own variant of posole.


7 months ago twinjadojo

I have to pile on the accolades like toppings on my steamy bowl o' 'zole. Fantástico! I had closer to 3.5+ lbs. of pork, and a 14oz bag of dried hominy. I ended up soaking the hominy for 48 hours due to meal planning changes, and it did eventually cook (in 4 cups of homemade stock plus an extra cup of hot water for the last bit of cook time) over a nearly three hour simmer. Next time, I'll par cook the hominy in plenty of water while prepping the braise (steps 1-3 and the first part of 4). As a good Suzanne Goin disciple, I pre-seasoned the meat in a big bowl and took my sweet time deeply browning it all in three batches. So worth it--the meat was falling apart and tender as can be. I should not describe the endless delight of piling on fresh, cool toppings and pulling up complex bites of textural, thermal and flavorfully complex mouthfuls, each different from the next because if you are reading this wondering if this recipe is worth a go, stop wondering; make a pot, and die of happiness. And throw on a few home-pickled jalapeños while you are at it. Muchas gracias por su receta!


9 months ago Claire Hoyt

Oh my gosh. New favorite! I thought it was good when I tasted it while making it, then I added lime (essential!), cohita, radish, green onion and cilantro and that all took it to another level. Made it for my hubbies birthday dinner, we both loved it!


9 months ago Claire Hoyt

Correction, I used queso fresco, not cohita. Creamy and mild.


9 months ago Diane

Mine was reddish brown when done. I think the colour might be related to the amount of time that you toast the chili. As long as it's not burnt, I don't think that is a problem. You may get a richer flavour. Enjoy!


9 months ago frizz

My posole is underway, and it's very, very brown. no hint of red at all. Is that ok? What did I do wrong?


10 months ago Elder

I'll sometimes set out a small bowl of dried Mexican Oregano as a topping.


10 months ago Regina Lomboy Garner

This was ridiculously good. My kids even loved it. Followed recipe exactly. I don't think it needed all the sides-we just put sliced avocado on it and it was perfect.


10 months ago Diane

Made this for the first time and it was really good. I will definately make this again. I basically followed the recipe as written, but transferred it to a crock pot and cooked it for about 3 hours on high. I then cooked it uncovered on the stove for about 20 minutes just to thicken the sauce. Really great flavour. Served it with the cabbage, radish, green onions, cilantro, avocado, and tortilla chips on the side. Great dish! Next time I may not reduce the sauce because with the added toppings it was a little too thick. I think it would be terrific in a taco. I may try that tomorrow with the leftovers.


10 months ago Araceli

I made this recently to rave reviews! The only thing I did differently was to use guajillo chiles instead. It was extremely flavorful, the pork shoulder was so tender, and it tastes just like pozole my mom used to make (maybe even a little better!). Sorry mom!


10 months ago beejay45

I love posole! For all the reasons cited, it is a highpoint in my cold weather cookery. In fact, I have some leftover pork roast which I was going to use for twice-cooked pork, but now I think it's going to be the basis of a pot of posole. Call me a rebel, but I like to make posole with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, too. Put a scoop of rice in your bowl, and you turn this into a very satisfying meal for even the big eaters.

Thanks, Monkeymom, for giving me this reminder just when I can use it. ;)


10 months ago beejay45

Made it, enjoyed it for three days -- we had it twice as posole, and at the end, I cooked it down so it was really thick, put everything into a pita bread, dolloped on some raita and, oh, man! Fusion cooking at its best. ;)


10 months ago robin lewis

beejay45, how do you get the broth's depth of flavor from the cooked/leftover turkey...i'm so excited to try it after this Thanksgiving. thanks for any tips.


10 months ago beejay45

robin, I either use broth/stock made from the turkey bones instead of the chicken broth, or sometimes - depending on my plans for the leftovers - I make the stock with the posole, if you get what I mean. It's rather messy having to pull the meat off the bones when they're all juicy with pepper gravy, but it saves a step. I usually make a good size pot of posole with the turkey and a small baking pan of turkey enchiladas for the freezer. You can either do this with plain turkey breast, or use leftover, much reduced posole for the enchilada filling. Depends on my mood at the time, I used to make turkey canelloni (sp?) with spinach in it instead of the enchiladas. ;)


10 months ago Kim

Monkeymom, what a fantastic-sounding recipe! Sadly, I haven't had pozole since becoming a vegetarian about 25 years ago.

Any suggestions for making this vegetarian-friendly? Veg stock, of course, but what could substitute for the pork, that could stand up to two hours' cooking time? Smoked firm tofu, and/or mushrooms, maybe?

I welcome any and all ideas--I MUST HAVE POZOLE!!! : )


10 months ago Christina H.

I used to make it with oyster mushrooms, but pretty much any mushroom will hold the long cookin time


10 months ago beejay45

You know, the long cooking time is really to, in effect, braise a not-so-tender cut of pork, so, really, a vegetarian version can be a fairly quick prep! If you wanted to add tofu, though, you could just hold off until the end, giving it enough time to absorb some flavor and heat through. When I make this without meat, I throw in some greens, like chard or something, and mushrooms, and even eggplant, since that takes up flavors really well. And there is the hominy. Play with it; it has so many possibilities.


10 months ago Kim

Hey, great suggestions! Thank you, Christina M. and beejay45!


9 months ago Courtenay Patton Mettler Olivarez

I skip the meat, use veggie stock and reserve about ¼ of the hominy. Towards the end of the cooking time, I fry it in a separate pan in a bit of oil until it's super crispy. (Make sure you use a lid because it pops similar to popcorn and gets a bit messy.) Toss it in at the end or add to individual bowls and it adds a chewy, crispy element that keeps my family oblivious to the lack of meat.


10 months ago Rhonda35

This is so delicious - I made it as instructed, no substitutions or additions. Will definitely make it again and I like the idea of using dried hominy. Thanks for sharing this recipe, MonkeyMom!


11 months ago Anna Francese Gass

Anna is a Test Kitchen Assistant and Recipe Tester for Food52

Very good and wonderful one pot wonder!


11 months ago robin lewis

p.s. just the other nite made the recipe verbatim: nirvana. (but i will still soak my RG dried beans the next time and give them a try) i especially loved the crunchy bonuses, e.g. radish. so clean and fresh and healthy. , and i never had thought of the shredded cabbage before!!


11 months ago The Fiery Epicurean



11 months ago leigh frat

You should try making it with dried hominy. It makes a big difference in the taste.


11 months ago Pablo Carro Vázquez

It's missing the corn, but nice approach.


11 months ago monkeymom

How cool to see this picked! Thank you, it makes me happy to see folks enjoy this and share their versions. And yes, it freezes really well. You can easily make half as well.


11 months ago Stitty

Does this freeze well? We're only 2, so I'd like to portion it out for colder days.


11 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Well this just became our Official Halloween Dinner 2014! Yay!!