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Posole, Por Favor

  • k

OK I am soaking some pink beans and hominy for posole tomorrow, but I've never even eaten the stuff let alone cooked it.

Please give me your recipes, tips, tricks

I have a lot of nice dried chiles, should I be soaking those today too?

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    1. re: paulj

      seems cruel to soak the pig's head that long

      This is a novice posole! I intend to use pork shoulder!

    2. CH Cristina has a great blog and I loved reading about her posole with the pigs head.

      http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico...

      OTOH, I've never had it made w/ pig's head that I know of (although some restaurants might have served it and I didn't know) but have used this recipe which I like. It's a quick and easy, what I have in the pantry is enough, type meal.

      http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/posol...

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        me falta una pig's head! thanks for the links - great info

      2. I've never had posole with beans.

        4 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          yes, well I am doing it all wrong apparently

          Actually the first recipe I looked up was a vegetarian version, no pork at all but called for beans. The beans stuck in my head and now I am soaking them for no good reason. I don't know if I should just add them in or make something else with them.

          1. re: Kater

            Navajo posole uses pintos. Posole is a kind of poor man's stew w/ many variations. Have fun.

            1. re: Kater

              In Mexico beans are often served on their own, as a side, or a final dish.

              1. re: paulj

                OK. I will make Headless Posole and Lonesome Beans.

          2. Posole has many interpretations and forms. The one unifying factor is the hominy. Some versions use red chili, some green and some none at all (white). I personally have made Pork, Chicken and Shrimp versions.
            Just make sure you have a really full bodied stock and serve with all the garnishes. It ends up being sort of a salad and soup in the bowl. On the side I usually serve Finely shredded cabbage, minced serranos, minced onion, chopped cilantro,sliced radishes, limes and tostaditas. But not beans ( -: Have fun!

            2 Replies
            1. re: chefj

              Posole apparently means hominy as I see it frozen & dried in Mexican groceries labeled as such. I make it with canned hominy though. Lazy I know.

              1. re: tullius

                In the Mexican context, the use of hominy in the soup is so common, that it is hard to say whether the word applies more to the corn or the soup.

                In the Andes, hominy is used in a number of different dishes, including being served as a 'starch' like (or more often with) potatoes and rice. Flavoring it with the fond produced by making fritada (carnitas) is a favorite. The Andean term for hominy is 'mote'.

            2. the "on the side" ingredients are for adding to the soup. Just for clarification

              1 Reply
              1. re: chefj

                I put shredded cabbage, radish, and tostadas on the side but wound up wishing I had not forgotten the cilantro!

                1. re: paul balbin

                  thank you so much! I am a little unsure about the powdered chicken bouillon but I am going to follow the recipe to a T - oh except that I am not using canned hominy. Watching a video makes it so much easier to cook something for the first time!

                  1. re: Kater

                    I am so happy this worked for you, I am a little nervous about recommending Chucheman since they are in Spanish but they are so clear. He is a howl. The
                    way he uses the diminutive for everything cracks me up.
                    It is perfectly Mexican to use the powdered chicken bouillon, they all do. The
                    brand they like is Knorr, you can get it in Mexican stores.
                    Feel free to contact me with any other questions. My contact stuff is on my
                    page.
                    Pablito el gordito

                    1. re: paul balbin

                      I use the Knorr tomato-chicken flavoring as my principal salt source for Mexican style soups and stews (and rice).

                      1. re: paul balbin

                        Oh he's so animated that you don't really need to catch every word but I was able to catch some of it thanks to Sra. Cooper's high school Espanol class! Oh but it took me a minute to figure out that I wasn't looking for the feet of tiny piglets! I'll check in with the final result.

                  2. Here are a couple recipes that I kinda use.
                    From Woman's Day Book of New Mexican Cooking: Simple and basic, Native Posole
                    2 cups dry posole (or 2lbs frozen)
                    2 lbs pork, diced
                    1 tbl spoon salt mas o menos
                    3 cloves garlic, minced
                    1/2 teaspoon cumino (cumin)
                    6 tbls. chile carib or ground red chile powder
                    Enough water to cover
                    Don't season the posole untill the corn is soft.

                    From Native American Cooking, Navajo Posole
                    1 1/2 cups Anasazi (pink) dried beans
                    1 1/2 dried pintos (or I just use 3 cups pintos)
                    10 cups water
                    1 tsp salt
                    3 cups dried posole
                    12 mas o menos New Mexico (Anaheim) chiles roasted, peeled and diced.
                    This is a total protein meal, but I usually add what ever meat I have on hand or is on sale.
                    I soak the beans and hominy the day before. I made it w/ beef heart for Scargod.

                    I teach at a very rural Maine high school and make posole to take for lunch in the winter. These Yankee women think I'm strange while they eat their boloney sandwiches on white bread.
                    Let us know how it turned out.

                    20 Replies
                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      That is so perfect - I am actually learning to make pozole/posole so that I can teach the dish to a group of elementary students in an after school club. They've been learning about Mexico and about native americans so I will probably make both recipes eventually. Today I'm going to make the beans separately and do the posole with pork - Now I have to go and see if I can find pig's feet!

                      1. re: Kater

                        It's a good lesson on Native American foods. Most authentic would be deer, elk, antilope or javalina (wild pig) meat. When I make the Navajo on I use lamb or mutton, the Navajos show their wealth by the size of their sheep herd and jewelry the women have. It is a matriarchal society. I began teaching in New Mex almost 40 years ago. Do you teach in the Philly area? I went to Muhlenberg.

                        edit.: My SIL is old New Mexican Hispanic and she associates pososle w/ Christmas.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Very interesting post Passadumkeg. Thx

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            I can probably get some venison to make a Native American version. I am in the Philly area but a parent, not a teacher. Nonetheless I get involved in a lot of student activities and have become the Go To Mom for anything food related. I was going to do a 3 Sisters thing for the Native American dish but I think that a variation on posole would be more effective and I would like the kids to think about the way that similar dishes crop up in different cultures. I would love to get some javalina because it crops up in a story they have read.. I'll do some searching.

                            1. re: Kater

                              Native American Cooking by Louise Ellen Frank is a good resource.

                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                          Passa, remember our interstate posole throwdown? :) Was it a tie, or did I win--HA HA HA!

                          I made mine with canned posole--it was my first time. This is a really easy recipe and here's a slideshow to go with:
                          http://cmd.shutterfly.com/commands/pi...

                          Original recipe here (adapted from a Mark Bittman Minimalist column) http://4obsessions.blogspot.com/2005/...

                          Mine is a bit different, but much inspired by the original!

                          extra virgin olive oil
                          3 – 3.25# lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks (trim excess fat)
                          1 tablespoon Adobo (mine is from Penzey’s
                          )1 large sweet yellow onion, diced (+ additional onion to garnish)
                          6 cups water
                          1 12-oz. bottle of beer (I used Abita Purple Haze, a raspberry wheat beer)
                          2 14-oz. cans hominy (do not drain)
                          7 black peppercorns
                          2 tablespoons epazote
                          2 teaspoons dried oregano
                          2 chipotles in adobe sauce, cut into small pieces
                          2 tablespoons cumin
                          6 cloves garlic, minced
                          juice of 1 lime
                          1 tablespoon salt
                          2 tablespoons dried cilantro
                          1 28-oz. can San Marzanos (minus 4-6 tomatoes you can use for another recipe)

                          Toppings (choose any or all of the following):
                          fresh cilantro
                          diced sweet yellow onion
                          sliced lime
                          diced avocado
                          grated sharp cheddar cheese

                          In the largest pot you have, add enough oil to coat the bottom, bring to medium heat and add onions. Sprinkle Adobo over pork to coat. Add to onions and stir just to sear the chunks a bit.

                          Pour beer over pork and onions, add 6 cups of water, hominy and its liquid, peppercorns, epazote, oregano, chipotles, cumin, garlic, lime, salt and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes and crush. Cook covered until pork is tender, at least an hour. I let this simmer 4-5 hours for the ultimate slow and low, pork perfection payoff. All I can say is wow.

                          Chop onions, score avocado, make a pretty plate with the cilantro and have plenty of shredded cheddar ready so your guests can make their bowls their own. Did you remember to make margaritas (OK, for yourself, not for your students!)? I count this among favorite soups/stews I've ever made.

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            I really wanted to throw in some beer - it just feels right - but I'm sticking with the Chucheman version so that I can gain experience with one simple version before I start to fool around with it. That's a lie, I made two changes: one is to use dried posole rather than canned and the second is to add a few diced tomatillos that will go in with the pureed chiles. Also I am very temped to add the lime in earlier (it is only a condiment in the version I am making) but I will try to stick to the recipe.

                            1. re: Kater

                              I am all about beer in cooking. Making changes is the fun of cooking--enjoy yourself. I doubt you will land on a wrong answer. :) Enjoy your posole!

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                I dunno, I always feel that beer is for drinking and feel guilty when I cook w/ it instead of drinking it. Same w/ slug bait. I simply cannot waste good beer on slugs and even slugs will not drink Coors Light.
                                Wasting beer must be a sacrilege in some religion or illegal somewhere.

                                The Olde Dum Keg

                            2. re: kattyeyes

                              I'm not easily finding my posole recipe and don't know that it's particularly authentic. But I really rub the chile powder into the meat and brown it quite well, way more than just a sear. I also have never used tomatoes but the chile powders impart a red color. One other thing is that if you're using canned hominy, there's no need to cook it all that time. When I've used the canned, I always just add it the last half hour or so. And I use chicken broth rather than water. I have some in the freezer left from a SW-style turkey we did on the grill some months ago. Too flavorful for a "pure" chicken stock but should be perfect for this. Also just picked up some dried corn today. It's definitely on my short-list of things to cook soon.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Canned hominy dopes not absorb any flavor from the posole and should only be used as a last resort.

                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  I'm sure you've done this elsewhere, but would you repeat how you soak your hominy please? Thanks,P-keg.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    If it is prepared dry posole (already soaked in lye or ash), just soak for 24 hrs and discard the water. If just dried corn, then it needs to be soaked or cooked in lye, ash or baking soda. I can't remember the word, but it changes the corn and loosens the outer husk so the corn kernels can open up and the corn is easier to digest. Google explains methods in detail.

                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                      Since it just looks like intact corn kernels, I assume I need to "treat" it? If it had been already, wouldn't it look at least a little open or cracked or something? Or should I just ask them at the market?!?

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          No label, baby. Just a plastic bag with a twist tie on the top. We're talking authentic, I do believe.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            You got dried corn for grinding. You have to process it. I used the baking soda method and it worked, but there is the traditional use of wood ash, lime, and lye. Lot's on google.

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          I thought that I still had to cook it separately (after I soaked it) before adding it to the stew. Was that unnecessary?

                                          1. re: Kater

                                            You still need to cook the hominy after you remove the husks, yes.

                              2. Give yourself plenty of time to cook the hominy. My experience with the large grain Peruvian corn, is that it takes a lot longer than expected to cook.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: paulj

                                  Here's my recipe, FWIW:

                                  3 T veg oil
                                  2 lb diced pork
                                  1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
                                  6 cloves garlic, minced
                                  1/2 t ground cumin
                                  1 T guajillo chile powder
                                  2 t Mexican oregano
                                  2 cans hominy, drained
                                  salt n' pepper to taste
                                  1/4 cup minced cilantro
                                  8 cups chicken stock

                                  1. Heat oil in stock pot over high heat.

                                  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add pork, onion and garlic and saute 6-8 minutes.

                                  3. Stir in cumin, guajillo, oregano, hominy, salt, pepper, cilantro and stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for an hour.

                                  4. Garnish with any fresh veg (or lime wedges) that strikes your fancy. (optional)

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    Now you tell me! It's been on the stover forever! But that's OK I have plenty of time.

                                  2. To get the traditional flavor and texture, you need to start with special dried giant corn kernels and soak them in a calcium hydroxide (lime) solution to remove the husks.

                                    http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/torti...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Excellent, Robert. This is JUST what I needed.

                                    2. Update

                                      I can't believe that I didn't make this sooner - it was soooo good!

                                      Here is what I wound up doing - pig feet and cubed pork ribs in water with bay leaf, whole black peppercorns, huge sweet onion, and two heads of garlic with the tops sliced off. Meanwhile I cooked the salted posole in a separate pot until it bloomed - that took a long time. Oh, I also cooked some pasilla chiles with a couple of anchos in a couple of ladles of the stock - but I started that later after the stock had had about an hour to get going.

                                      Once the corn was ready - probably an hour and a half from the time I started the stock - I drained it and added it to the meat and broth. I also pulled the heads of garlic and onions from the stock and added them to the blender with the chiles. I pureed all of that together (squeeze the garlic cloves from the heads) and then added it back to the pot. At this point I added a few big diced tomatillos and a large chopped onion along with Mexican whole oregano, salt and a chicken bouillon cube. I let this cook for a good two hours then went through it and removed as many bones as I could. I also skimmed the fat and took out the big pieces of skin and cartilage from the feet.

                                      I had cut up my cabbage and radishes earlier in the afternoon but had accidentally used up all of my onions in the soup. I also had tons of limes and squeezed them over the top of the shredded veg before serving.

                                      Oh I forgot to say that I wound up adding some chipotles in adobo because it was not spicy enough. I don't know if that makes it inauthentic but we like some heat.

                                      The dish went over very well. Too well, perhaps. Now I expect to get requests for it from time to time and I'm not sure how often I will be up for this effort. On the other hand, I now own quite a bit of posole leftovers - a very good thing.

                                      I am thinking of trying a pork shoulder variation because dealing with the bones was a real PIA. Maybe I will make a stock with feet and some ribs (or backs which I could not find) and use it as a base for the shoulder variety. The quality of the stock from the cuts I used was really fantastic.

                                      Also I think that I will try to get better posole - I just used the bag of dried Goya posole. It was good but I've got to believe that there is better, more authentic, more sustainably raised product out there.

                                      I'm excited to make this for the kids at school - I'm going to borrow someone's nickname Salad Soup - they will like that concept! Thanks for all of your help!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Kater

                                        Cucheman would be proud of you, he would surely be glad you took it upon your self
                                        to correct the spicing with the chipotle...... If you have a picture I think I might be able
                                        to come up with his email.
                                        Pablito el gordito

                                        1. re: paul balbin

                                          I cannot believe he used canned hominy.

                                          Actually I tried to buy some to make a comparison but the store I went to only had Juanita's posole with chicken - like the soup was already made.

                                          Also I would be afraid that he would 'diminish' my posole! ; )

                                          1. re: Kater

                                            On another hominy thread a poster talked about taking the hominy out of the can, slicing it, and frying the slices. After some question we learned that the poster was using a regional product (from Maryland, I think), that was packed with more starches.

                                            An authentic hominy from the American south will be different from a Pueblo one, and that in turn different from Southern Mexico or Peru.

                                            In Seattle area Mexican groceries, Teasdale is the most common brand of canned hominy. Juanitta is the other. I've seen Teasdale in restaurant size cans.
                                            http://www.teasdale.net/hominy.php
                                            shows 5 varieties, though I've only used the white Mexican style.

                                      2. OK I am on batch two, and I've got a great mail order source for dried posole: Rancho Gordo. Amazing giant kernels, much nicer than the Goya supermarket variety. I also got some heirloom beans from them but I haven't made the yet.

                                        For this batch of posole I used pork butt to simplify the process. It was still really good but not nearly as good as the version with pig feet. I will definitely alternate between the two versions depending on how much time I have to put into the effort!

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Kater

                                          Muy bien, chica! I love it! I stop making posole when the weather warms. Remember in an above post, I mentioned it is associated w/ Xmas? Go eat a Taylor Pork Roll sandwich for me will ya?

                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                            I'm definitely out of season but when I start making something I like to do it a few times in rapid succession so that I get the feel for it. I grew up in Upstate NY so that weird Taylor Ham/Pork Roll stuff is completely foreign to me! Also I cannot stand those horrible cold soft pretzels that people here eat - yuck!

                                            1. re: Kater

                                              OK, then beef on weck, better than wings.

                                                1. re: Kater

                                                  OK, I know all you pozole lovers are going to be skeptical, but I recently made a vegetarian pozole that kicks ass. And this is coming from someone who used to love eating the pork version!

                                                  Here is the recipe - it looks more involved than it is.

                                                  Vegetarian Pozole

                                                  1 c. whole dried hominy
                                                  2/3 c. roasted, lightly salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – half reserved for garnish
                                                  1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
                                                  1 serrano pepper, stemmed
                                                  3 cloves garlic, peeled
                                                  12 tomatillos, papery skins removed, rinsed
                                                  1 T. olive oil
                                                  1 t. ground cumin
                                                  1 t. dried Mexican oregano
                                                  1 c. cilantro leaves
                                                  1 4-oz. can fire roasted green chiles (Ortega makes these, or use Hatch chiles if you can find them)
                                                  4-5 c. vegetable broth
                                                  Salt to taste

                                                  For garnish:

                                                  cilantro
                                                  thinly sliced radishes
                                                  cubed avocado
                                                  dried Mexican oregano
                                                  Roasted pepitas
                                                  Very thinly sliced green cabbage
                                                  Lime Wedges

                                                  Place hominy in a large bowl and cover generously with water. Soak for 6 hours or overnight, then drain. Place it in a saucepan with water to cover generously, and cook according to the package directions (for Rancho Gordo’s hominy, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.) Season with a little salt and cool in the liquid.

                                                  Bring a pot of water to boil in a saucepan and add the tomatillos. Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

                                                  On a hot, dry skillet (cast iron works best), roast the onion, serrano peppers and garlic, turning occasionally until they are nicely charred, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool. In the same skillet, toast the ground cumin and the oregano over medium-low heat for one minute, then add the olive oil and cook for an additional minute. Put the oil/spice mixture, the charred vegetables, 2 cups broth, cilantro, canned green chiles, prepared tomatillos and half the pepitas in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large dutch oven. Add 2 cups additional broth, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add an additional cup of broth if the mixture seems too thick. Season with salt to taste. Add the drained cooked hominy, return to a simmer and serve. Add garnishes to individual bowls.

                                                  Photo here: http://whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010/07/...