Warming Red Pozole

November 30, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
In This Recipe


  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:
Stew|Mexican|Hominy|Oregano|Pork|Radish|Cumin|Make Ahead|Slow Cook|Serves a Crowd|Fall|Winter

Reviews (67) Questions (0)

67 Reviews

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. <br /><br />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.<br /><br />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.<br />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! <br />
Claire H. December 10, 2014
Correction, I used queso fresco, not cohita. Creamy and mild. <br />
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!
beejay45 October 28, 2014
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.<br /><br />Thanks, Monkeymom, for giving me this reminder just when I can use it. ;)
beejay45 November 3, 2014
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. ;)
robin L. November 22, 2014
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.
beejay45 November 23, 2014
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. ;)
Kim October 26, 2014
Monkeymom, what a fantastic-sounding recipe! Sadly, I haven't had pozole since becoming a vegetarian about 25 years ago.<br /><br />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?<br /><br />I welcome any and all ideas--I MUST HAVE POZOLE!!! : )
Christina H. October 27, 2014
I used to make it with oyster mushrooms, but pretty much any mushroom will hold the long cookin time
beejay45 October 29, 2014
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.
Kim October 29, 2014
Hey, great suggestions! Thank you, Christina M. and beejay45!
Courtenay P. December 4, 2014
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.
Chicgail October 14, 2015
I know your post was a long time ago, but butternut squash and/or poblano peppers would be an awesome add.
Kim November 5, 2015
Thanks, Courtenay and Chicgail! I love Courtenay's idea of frying some of the hominy, and Chicgail's suggestion of butternut squash!
Rhonda35 October 26, 2014
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!