For WIAW I am going to share one of my favorite holiday dishes! Thanks Jenn for hosting!
Sunday it was coooold and threatening snow, I think I ended up counting exactly 5 snowflakes. Whereas the rest of NM it seems got a snow day. I decided it was time for me to try my hand at making posole. Which, if you are not familiar with posole, or pozole as I’ve seen it spelled, is a traditional Mexican soup made with pork, red chile, and hominy.
I grew up eating posole around the holidays. My step dad, who is from Mexico, would make it once a year with fresh sopapillas, a day I definitely looked forward to all year. Around this time of year in New Mexico the grocery store shelves are stocked with all the fixin’s to make a big hot pot of posole, and all the local restaurants are also adding it to their menus.
There are many recipes out there, but I found this one for Casa Chimayo’s Posole, which looked like it had all the elements I was looking for, while being simple. I like simplicity in a recipe.
I sprang out of bed Sunday morning and got started. I actually did get up with every intention to get posole cookin’.
I decided to make this recipe with chicken instead of pork to lighten it up a little bit. I used a whole 5lb chicken. Since I made a whole chicken and had an extra pound of hominy, I went ahead and doubled the recipe.
This recipe would have been a lot lighter if I had cooked the chicken the night before, given the broth time to cool, so I could skim off the fat. You will use a lot of the broth in this recipe. Noted for next time.
I had to use a lot of this chile to get some spice in the recipe.
When it was time to put everything together I pulled out yet another big pot to which I added all of the hominy and hominy broth, all of the chile, all the chicken, and then I eye balled the amount of broth I wanted to make it the right consistency. My point here being I did not add all of the chicken broth, that would have been entirely too much.
I am not a leftovers person, but I have had this twice on Sunday, for dinner Monday and again tonight for dinner. It looks as though there is only one bowl left. I put quite a bit in the freezer thinking we wouldn’t eat it fast enough! This is an excellent easy dish that will warm you up in a chilly winter day.
Casa Chimayo’s Posole
Recipe from Santa Fe Travelers
1 lb. posole – fresh or frozen (canned hominy may be substituted if posole not available)
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp salt
Pork: I substituted with a whole chicken, doubled the spices since it was 5 lbs
2 lb. pork shoulder
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
6 to 8 chile pods
2 cups broth (from the cooked pork)
Soak posole overnight. Drain and rinse posole, then place it in a cooking pot and cover with water. Use approximately two parts water to one part posole. Add the onion and salt. Bring to a boil on the stove, then lower heat and simmer until posole has started to “bloom”, about 1 ½-2 hrs. The posole will swell and start to resemble popcorn, but will still be chewy.
Place pork shoulder in another pot and cover with water. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then cook over medium heat until tender and falling off the bone. Remove meat from broth and let cool. Remove meat from bones and pull apart into small pieces, set aside.
Place rinsed chile pods, stems removed in about two cups of hot broth (from the cooked pork) and let them soak about 20 minutes, or until soft. Note: Remove the seeds if you want a milder chile. Place broth and chile pods in blender and blend until smooth.
Combining the posole, pork and chile:
When the posole is at the chewy point, add the pork, chile, and any remaining broth to the posole and let it finish cooking (total cooking time about 4-6 hours). Stir the posole mixture periodically, adding hot water if necessary. Do not allow it to dry out, Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. The key to a successful posole is watching for it to finish “blooming”. Posole is fully cooked when it has completely opened and is tender when chewed.
Serve in bowl and place garnish on the table so that each can do their own. Garnish may include: sliced limes, chopped cilantro, finely chopped onion, oregano, cubed avocado, or grated cheese.