Make Ahead

Warming Red Pozole

November 30, 2010
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 10 to 12
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amy Shier Bowen
    Amy Shier Bowen
  • Rhonda35
  • Molly
  • LittleKi
  • Annie stader
    Annie stader

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.

72 Reviews

eliza February 3, 2021
Organic pozole soaking. This recipe sounds scrumptious, but I wonder how to substitute chicken or turkey for the pork. I'll check back later to see if anyone weighs in.
Rhonda35 February 3, 2021
Hi Eliza - I would cook exactly the same way except you won't need to braise/simmer for 2 hours; one hour should be more than enough time if you use chicken/turkey. If you are cooking your pozole/hominy from dried, you may need that 2 hours. In that case, brown the chicken as you would the pork, but don't add it back to the pot until the hominy is tender. Then add it back and continue to simmer on low for about another half hour. I hope this makes sense and is helpful!
beejay45 February 4, 2021
I've never actually made mine with pork. I started making as a way to use up leftover turkey. I just make the "broth" and add in shredded turkey with enough time for it to get heated through. Makes a pretty quick meal that way, actually
Amy S. September 9, 2020
This was easy and delicious. I love the soup meets salad aspect, and hominy is a fantastic starch in texture and flavor. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly and although no, it wasn't spicy, that's what Tapatio is for.
Tawnya D. March 19, 2020
Easy delicious crowd recipe. I made 10 lbs tripling the recipe and it was half gone before the stew was ready. I did detour from the recipe by deglazing the pan with a bottle of beer and adding guajillo ground chili. Will add to the meal rotation as the kids loved it.
Rhonda35 April 17, 2018
I've made this several times - it's very good and comes together easily. We love it!
Molly December 4, 2017
This was delicious, and will definitely be in our regular rotation! It wasn't quite as spicy as I'd like even after adding one extra chili, so I might try it with a different kind (or several more) next time.
Beckey January 22, 2017
I made this last night for a small dinner party and oh my was it delicious. We like things a bit spicy, so I used 10 fresh small, red chiles, blistered first on the stovetop. It had some really nice heat that was balanced out by all the different condiments, which really make this a nice dish for company, where anyone can add a bit of what they like. I used four of what I guess are country style ribs and left them bone-in in the pot after searing, so each guest could have their own. I couldn't find a pork shoulder that wasn't huge, so I actually used a small tenderloin, which I know is a big no-no, but the meat was still tender and delicious and the final stew had a bit of fattiness, but not too much. I probably had just under 3 lbs of meat in total the four of us pretty much finished off the pot. Egad, I think we may be pigs! I will definitely make this agin and I'd like to try it with chicken next time, and if I'm feeling ambitious, fresh/dried hominy instead of canned.
Gisele73 June 2, 2016
I made this according to the recipe and it turned out really well. It wasn't as spicy as I expected, which was good for the 7-year-old. The only thing I'll do differently next time is to trim a bit more of the fat off the pork.

I made the recipe up to the point where all the ingredients are in the pot yesterday evening, and then did the 2-hour simmer and topping prep this afternoon. As a 2-day project it's pretty mellow to make. The depth of flavor and all-around tastiness belies the few ingredients.

Thanks for this recipe!
LittleKi January 23, 2016
Made this tonight to do battle with a cold. Halved it, used guajillos because that is what I had, otherwise made as written. There might be more complex pozole recipes out there, but the deliciousness - work involved ratio on this one makes it a new standard!
bigmouthtofeed November 23, 2015
Made this last night. So good. Had to sub in California chiles to keep it milder for the kids but will make it spicier when they get older. Everyone loved it, including my picky nephew!
Annie S. November 4, 2015
Ranch Gordo hominy is so delicious! I would recommend using it if you can. I find myself looking for ways to use it! This recipe looks great and I just received 5 pounds of fresh red chile ( and 10 pounds of green), from friends in New Mexico, and will use some of sauce I made in this recipe.
Chicgail October 15, 2015
I'm making this today for the first time. It's simmering and it smells amazing. But I found myself confused about a few things. The recipe calls for 3 lbs of pork shouder or country style ribs. Does that mean 3 lbs of meat cut from the bone of shoulder or ribs - or was it just 3 lbs including the bones? I added the bone to the simmering stew figuring it would add flavor but I wasn't sure. In addition, it calls for 1 can of hominy. What size can? I used one 25-oz can and hoped for the best. How did you solve those problems?
Uncle J. October 15, 2015
Posole is a very flexible recipe, as you will see in the variety of the approaches mentioned below. You may be overthinking this. Adding a bone to a simmering stew will add both favor and body - always a good thing in my view. The amount of meat and hominy just depends on your preference. I like both a lot. But then I really love the broth, too. Hard to go wrong. Only caution would be to go easy on the chiles the first time if you aren't in love with spicy food.
Chicgail October 16, 2015
Thanks, Uncle Jess. Outstanding result; raves all around. I ususally play around with recipes to suit our tastes (and what's actually in the pantry or fridge) but I was taken aback by some of the non-specifics of the ingredients. Once I had cut it off the bone, I had about 2 lbs pork, which was plenty. The little that was left on the bone braised right off as I had expected it would and I added another half-can of (Mexican-style) hominy. This is a keeper.
btglenn August 5, 2015
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.
twinjadojo January 31, 2015
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!
Claire H. December 10, 2014
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!
Claire H. December 10, 2014
Correction, I used queso fresco, not cohita. Creamy and mild.
Diane November 24, 2014
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!
frizz November 24, 2014
My posole is underway, and it's very, very brown. no hint of red at all. Is that ok? What did I do wrong?
Elder November 22, 2014
I'll sometimes set out a small bowl of dried Mexican Oregano as a topping.
Regina L. November 19, 2014
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.
Diane November 17, 2014
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.
Araceli November 3, 2014
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!