A chili, a stew and a soup walked into a restaurant......and a posole was born. Rich, flavorful with a kick of spice, this is hearty and everything a traditional pozole should be.
- 3/4 cup dried chiles de arbol (use ¼ cup for less spice)
- 4 dried ancho chiles
- 6 cloves garlic (2 smashed, 4 finely chopped)
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut in half
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 15-ounce cans white hominy, drained and rinsed (you can substitute a can of corn, it’s less authentic but will still be delicious)
- Toppings: diced avocado, shredded cabbage, diced onion, sliced radishes and fresh cilantro
Break the stems off the chiles de arbol and ancho chiles and shake out as many seeds as possible. The seeds are what add an extra spicy punch, so once removed, discard the seeds. Put the chiles in a large glass bowl and cover with boiling water; weigh down the chiles with a plate to keep them submerged and soak until soft, about 30 minutes.
While the chiles are soaking, prep the rest of the ingredients and rub the cumin and ½ teaspoon salt over the pork. Set aside.
After 30 minutes, remove chiles from the bowl and put them in a blender with smashed garlic, generous pinch of salt, and 1 ½ cups of soaking liquid. Blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, using a spatula to push it through which ensures the sauce is lovely and smooth. Set sauce aside.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and then add the onion. Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic, stir to incorporate into the onion and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Push the onion and garlic to the side of the Dutch oven, add the pork and cook until well browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups of water, chicken broth, oregano, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt. Then stir in ½ cup to ¾ cup of the chile sauce, depending on how much spice you like. The sauce is VERY spicy, and I usually use a very scant ½ cup. If you’re not sure, add less to begin with and, as it cooks, taste to check on whether you would like to add more spice. As a rule, it’s always good to start with a little and add more because you can always make it spicier.
Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook, turning the pork a few times, until tender, about 2 hours.
Stir in the hominy and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the pork starts falling apart, about 1 more hour. Remove the bay leaf. The pork is usually so tender by now that it’s easy to use a couple of forks to break it apart into smaller, bite size chunks. If the posole is too thick, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water. Season with salt.
Serve with assorted toppings and the remaining chile sauce.
What exactly is hominy? Hominy is dried corn that has been soaked in a lime bath. You've had hominy before, though, because in it's ground form it's used to make tortillas and grits. The calcium in the lime makes it possible to transform the dried corn into masa which is the base for tortillas. It has the distinct taste of corn, and you'll find the cans in the Mexican section of your grocery store. Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine