Posole (or pozole) is a Mexican pork stew that is perfect for the slow cooker during the week. Or as we show you here, ideal for a lazy Sunday dinner when it can slowly simmer for hours on a stove top. With either method, you can expect crowds of hungry people (and pets) wandering into the kitchen, from it’s rich and alluring aroma.
If you have to ask, “What is posole?” (as I did), it is basically a cross between a soup and a stew. Although there are many variations among this iconic Mexican recipe, it always consists of three main ingredients:
- Pork (typically shoulder)
What is Hominy?
We all know what pork and garlic are but what about the third essential ingredient for pozole? Hominy is made by alkalizing dried corn kernels and it is an essential ingredient to many foods such as corn tortillas. The process causes the germ and hull to be removed and the grain of each kernel swells to about twice it’s normal size.
If you’re from the south or have ever ventured on the lower side of the Mason-Dixon line then you surely have heard of hominy grits, an iconic food that is part of our southern culture here in the U.S.
How to Make Pozole
All pozole recipes start with pork. Once again, there are many variations of posole and I like to sear my chunks of pork shoulder prior to the long cooking process. I like the texture and the color of seared meat, but if you want to skip this part it is completely optional.
When searing meat in butter or oil, you want the highest temperature possible. Often times butter gives the meat a sweet buttery finish during the searing process but because butter has a low smoke point, you are limited with how high you can heat it before harmful chemical changes begin to occur. To help get around this issue, combine some oil (higher smoke point) with the butter. You can read more about What’s a Smoke Point and Why it Matters in this link.
When making this posole recipe, add some garlic and salt to the pot and then fill it with water. Toss in a bay leaf and let the magic happen.
After a few hours at a low simmer, you can shred the pork to your desired consistency. Stir in some chili sauce and seasoning, add the hominy and allow it to cook for another half hour or so.
I first heard of this authentic posole recipe from my friend Deb over at Bowl Me Over. The best part, she got the recipe from another great food site, The Foodie Affair where this posole is credited to that creator’s Nana. How much better does it get than that? Back to Deb and her food site, it’s one of my favorite food blogs, due entirely to the lady behind it.
She in one energetic, giving and big-hearted lady coming out of Fresno, California. Although she’s a long way from this Wisconsin boy, Deb is an avid Green Bay Packer fan and of course, that’s all it takes to hold a special place in my heart. But there’s so much more to love about Deb, not the least of which is her finesse in the kitchen. These are just a few recipes from Bowl Me Over that are among my favorites.
Both Deb and I recreated this recipe as part of our seasonal Freaky Friday activity, where a group of food bloggers is secretly assigned to cover another group member’s recipe.
Some of our other Freak Friday Creations include:
- Asian Meatballs
- Lemon Loaf Cake with Rosemary-Infused Lemon Icing
- Baked Pumpkin Donuts
- Black Bean and Roasted Corn Chowder
- Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
- Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats with Brown Butter
- Blueberry Crumb Cake and Cream Cheese Lemon Twist
Here’s a list of everyone’s recipes from this season’s round of Freaky Friday. Please click through and see what everyone made. Can you find our recipe?! (Hint: It may be at the top of the list)
- An Affair from the Heart: Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Lemoine Family Kitchen: Easy Peasy Corn Pudding
- Take-Two Tapas: Large Batch Cherry Manhattan Party Punch
- Seduction in the Kitchen: No Churn Raspberry Moscato Wine Ice Cream
- West Via Midwest: Creamy Lemon Ice Cream
- Bowl Me Over: Homemade French Onion Soup
- The Devilish Dish: Chili Cheese Corn Dogs
- Mildly Meandering: Chai Latte Dip
- Who Needs a Cape?: Hash Brown Taco Casserole
- A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures: German Soft Pretzels
- PlatterTalk: Posole
This authentic Mexican pozole recipe is easy to make and perfect for families eating on a budget. As a bonus, it tastes just as good or even better the next day!
- 4 pounds pork pork shoulder, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3-4 cloves garlic crushed
- 28 oz chili sauce red
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 48 oz hominy drained
Place chunks of meat to a large Dutch oven, sear as I did if desired. Add enough water to cover the meat plus another inch or so. Add bay leaf, garlic, and salt and bring to a boil and reduce heat to low simmer. Continue to cook on low for at least 4 hours.
Once the meat is tender and shreds easily, shred the pork to your desired consistency and add remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer for another 30 to 60 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and avocado if desired.
Trim any fat from pork prior to using. At the end of the simmering process, use a slotted spoon to skim any excess fat from top of the broth.
I cooked this pozole recipe in a covered Dutch oven. If you don not use a cover, be sure to replace water as necessary, in case of evaporation.
Add more salt, to taste.
Suggested garnishes include:
Sour cream, avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro.
If you've ever asked, "How to shred cabbage?" This link from Healing Tomato does a great job of showing you!