Posole, a.k.a. pozole, is a super easy and amazingly tasty stew made with pork, dried chiles, and hominy. To some people, posole is all about the garnishes. It is traditionally served with warm corn tortillas to help soak up the savory broth and topped with a variety of fresh, flavorful, and crunchy garnishes:
- fresh cilantro leaves
- chopped green onion
- sliced or shredded radishes
- shredded green cabbage
You can buck with tradition and dress the shredded cabbage with a bit of lime juice and toasted cumin seeds, include chunks of avocado, or go crazy and treat the stew more like a chili and add cheese or sour cream to the mix too.
Yes, the whole thing requires a bit of time, but most of that time is just the pot on the stove or in the oven, with no work required from the chef. For extra flavor, ask the butcher for a pork shank or knuckle bone to add to the pot, too.
- Cut the pork into chunks. How big should those chunks be? That depends. Most classic posole will have fairly big pieces, but if you prefer to cut it into bite-sized pieces, you wouldn't be the first person to do so. For extra flavor, include a few pieces of pork shank or knuckle bones in the mix.
- Put the pork in a large pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil. While the pork heats up, peel the garlic and remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Skim off any foam that has formed in the pot. Add the garlic, chiles, and salt to the pork. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover, and cook until the pork is fork-tender, about 90 minutes. (You can also do this by putting the covered, oven-proof pot in a 350F oven for the same amount of time—a method I tend to prefer for its hands-off quality.)
- Add the cooked or canned and drained hominy and oregano. Continue cooking at a simmer until the flavors blend and the pork is very tender, another hour. Add additional water to keep ingredients covered as necessary, returning the mixture to a boil and reducing back down to a simmer as necessary.
- Taste the broth and add more salt as necessary. Serve the posole in deep bowls and let everyone top their portion with garnishes as they like.
* Canned hominy works fine here. If you want to start with dried, put 1 cup dried hominy in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and add enough salt to season (the water should taste a tad salty), reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until just tender (about 2 hours), drain, and then use as directed in the recipe above.