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Mar 13, 2007 08:03 PM

Posole!!!!! [moved from L.A. board]

My wonderful friend is from Mexico, and in liew of payment for wonderful services, she made my family a big pot of Posole. I have yet to pin her down on the exact ingredients,esposote, some tomato, garlic etc,but she mentioned to me that she uses pork neck to give the soup that unctious flavor. Bones and all. My excurisions online have led me to Posole with chicken breasts, with sausage or pork loin. What's the real deal???

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  1. I always make pozole with pork, myself. A nice bone in butt or shoulder roast, usually. I've never heard of a variation with chicken -- that sounds like a "let's make it healthier" kind of thing to do.

    Of course, I'm not sure how much credit you want to give me on this, what with my being an anglo chick in Ohio. My understanding of pozole comes largely from fiddling with a bad recipe on the back of a bag of hominy. I know what I'm after -- a spicy pork and hominy stew with a thick but not floury gravy.

    1. My understanding is that pozole is, traditionally, a butchery day stew, using parts of the pig like the head that need long cooking, along with the hominy (which takes hours to cook from the raw state). In fact the word 'pozole' may refer more to the hominy itself. As with any meat soup or stew, using bones or bony parts adds flavor and body. If the skin from the head (or a foot or two) is included, you get even more body.

      A stew made with lean, boneless parts like chicken and pork loin is not going to have the same sort of body. Obviously you can include the hominy and spices.

      As for making the dish 'healthier', if you take the time to skim the fat (easiest by cooling it in the fridge overnight), you can get body without much fat.

      One option would be to make the stock before hand, using a mix of parts like neck bones and a foot. Chill that, and finish the dish later with the precooked hominy (canned Mexican style will work) and leaner pieces of meat (which don't need long cooking).

      You could check various recipes, but I think the seasonings of pozole often are kept simple, and condiments such as lime, chopped onion, cilantro, Mexican oregano, and hot sauce are added at the table.


      1. Gad! How I despise the interpolations of the "s" and/or "z" in pozole...makes websearches so much harder. Yes, po(z)ole is typically made with long-stewing pork products....however...there are "green" versions utilizing a base of tomatillos and mild green peppers(both stewed or roasted before being added to the broth---chicken in this case). There are "red" versions utilizing the aformentioned pork...and various chile powders granting it's "red" quality. Also, there is pozole as I make it with dark meat chicken, chicken stock/or both, some tomatillo, some green chile, red chile powders(read: not chili powder...this isn't chili), oregano(I use marjoram), cumin, pinto beans, and hominy. I mediate the hominy with the beans cuz I think hominy can overtake the flavors. It goes without saying that any canned ingredient is first washed of it's can juices. I serve my quasi-red chicken pozole with avocado, cilantro, jalapeno, sour cream, toasted corn tortillas, and hot sauces.

        2 Replies
        1. re: aelph

          hmm...can't edit my own post for some reason: the above should read: "chicken stock/or broth"

          and, I would add iceberg or cabbage and lime to my list of accoutrement

          1. re: aelph

            That all sounds right, aelph, though I don't do chicken posole. My mom makes the green stuff, and I make the red, always with a fatty cut of pork. Charred roasted tomatoes and a little chipotle-in-adobo makes it red. I roast some big green onions with the tomatoes if there's room, for garnishes. I also use a mix of hominy and pintos, and often throw in sweet corn at the last moment.

          2. Usually in the U.S, it is red pork pozole. If you ever are in the area of Encinitas, El Especiale Northe makes a chicken Pozole and a pork pozole. I preferred the pork, IIRC ... but its been a few years.

            There is even canned chicken and pork pozole

            Here's a link from Mexconnect which I've found to have reliable information about food. It talks about soup and the regional differences in pozole
            - Pozole Blanco: Basic White Pozole
            - Pozole Rojo Jalisciense: Jalisco Style Red Pozole
            - Pozole Verde con Pipian de Guerrero: Guerrero Style Green Pipian Pozole
            - Pozole con Mariscos: Seafood Pozole


            I love pozole ... any kind

            4 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              <Usually in the U.S, it is red pork pozole.>

              Not necessarily. It depends mostly on from where the Mexican community in your area emigrated. I see both the white and the red versions fairly often.

              We don't usually cook with pork at home so we make a white chicken version. I would recommend using dark meat and Mexican oregano which is different from your standard supermarket oregano. I could see, though, where neck bones would be a good addition.

              Standard condiments include shredded cabbage or lettuce, lime wedges, and fried tortillas. Chicken may not be the most traditional version but when we made a large pot as a "thank you" for a group of Mexican employees they didn't leave much over.

              1. re: rockycat

                Again you could make a richer base by starting with a chicken carcass or two, or even include some chicken feet.

                1. re: paulj

                  In my experience, pozole's a pretty idiosyncratic dish: Everyone's got their own version and their own way of cooking it, and they all seem good. We add dried chicken bi;;ion to the stock because unless you use hocks and bones and make a separate stock, you get a very tasteless broth.

                  We use a 2-21/2 lb chunk of pork, cover it with water, throw in a whole unpeeled head of garlic (it comes out later), some oregano and white pepper, and simmer till the meat's falling off the bone, about 11/2-2 hrs. We also add 5-6 chicken thighs after an hour and let those cook along with the pork too.

                  Fish out the meats (and the garlic head) and let cool. Skim the stock, and add sufficient instant chicken bullion to give some flavor to the stock. Add the drained and washed canned hominy and heat through. Meanwhile discard the garlic, cube the meats and add them back to the broth, season with salt and pepper, and serve in bowls with hot tortillas and lime wedges, chopped white onion, radishes, and lettuce (gives a nice crunch), and either chopped green chilies or hot sauce.

                  You can add whatever you like once everything's in the pot: dried red chilies, salsa verde for green pozole, or red We make a huge pot of this and eat it happily for days. It gets better as it stands.

                  Fish out the pork a and throw in 5-6 (boneless are easiest)

                  1. re: dr_mabeuse

                    Ha! Except for the hominy, that looks about like my gumbo! Not that this should be surprising, both dishes being basically whatchagot stews.

                    When I started making posole, I was cutting up pork shoulder and tossing the meat with ground red chiles, dried herbs and masa, some of which mixture I'd save to thicken the stew at the end. And of course I was using plain middle-American canned hominy, since this was Nashville in the '80s and we had yet to get the Latino influx that finally gave us some decent Mexican (etcetera) restaurants that survived and flourished. Anyway, both Mrs. O and I loved the result, and I very much enjoyed playing with different ingredients and approaches. Still do. Just like gumbo!

            2. We have a couple of mom & pop Mexican resturants here in Dayton, that cater to the growing Hispanic population. They make a soup/stew usually on the weekends, they call it posole, but instead of the usuall pork they make it with tripe (cow's stomach). I alway thought this was menudo, but they do call it posole. Any comments?

              4 Replies
              1. re: jackrugby

                Does it have hominy in it? That seems to define posole, but I could be wrong. You should ask them where they are from in Mexico to get an idea if this is a regional variation. It might also point you to some regional dishes they might serve out of the norm.

                1. re: rworange

                  Bayless in Authentic Mexican mentions that the Menudo Rojo is often made with the addition of hominy in the Northern (Mexican) states. Mondongo is another name that is used for a tripe soup/stew, though in Ecuador it is also used for a cow foot and hominy soup. And cow foot is a secondary ingredient in most menudo in Mexico. So there is some variability in the names and ingredients of these soups.


                  1. re: rworange

                    Yes, it does have hominy in it and they advertise it as posole on the menu board. I tried it once and was turned off a little bit by the tripe and haven't tried it since.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Yes, it is the choclo that defines the dish as posole.