Had I never met my wife, I would not know the wonder that is posole. Her family came from Albuquerque, New Mexico (part of the U.S. BTW, since many people seem not to know that), and they make this stew every New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. Ever since having my first bowl of this wonderful, spicy goodness of pork, hominy and red or green chile, Jodie and I now make it every New Year’s Day in our home.
And this year, for our 2013 batch, we nailed it.
The joy of posole is not just its savory spicy goodness. It’s the simplicity. It works equally well in a pot simmering on the stove, or in a slow cooker. You can gussy this up, vegetarianize it or do whatever you want. But as far as we’re concerned in the St. Clair household, here’s how you make posole:
- Olive oil
- 2 lbs. pork (such as top sirloin or shoulder)
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. seasoning goodness, such as:
- Chili powder
- Southwestern seasoning
- Your preferred mix of cumin, coriander, salt, chile and oregano
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 qts. water or stock
- 6-lbs. can of hominy, drained and rinsed
- Red chile and green chile (such as Bueno)
- Corn or flour tortillas (we prefer flour)
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Slice the pork into 1-inch pieces. Place in a bag with the flour and seasoning, and toss until the pork is covered. Put enough pork in the pan so there is a single layer with a bit of space between pieces (this way they brown instead of steam). Brown the pork, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the pork to a bowl, deglaze the pan with stock, and if needed add more oil and pork. Repeat till all the pork is browned.
Deglaze pan, add oil and saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
If using Dutch oven: Add pork and liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer 2 hours. Add hominy and simmer another 30-60 minutes.
If using slow cooker: Add onion, garlic, pork and liquid to slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Add hominy and warm through, about 30 minutes.
Serve posole in bowls, with tortillas, red chile and green chile at table. Add your fave chile, enjoy, and good luck in the New Year!