New Mexico Posole, the Spicy Holiday Tradition

In Chile Peppers, Chili & Soup, Holiday & Seasonal, Pork by Dave DeWittLeave a Comment

From the article, “A Chile-Blessed Christmas around the World,” a New Mexico favorite.

Posole (Pork and Posole Corn)


This dish is traditionally served during the Christmas season in New Mexico, when a pot simmering at the back of the stove provides a welcoming fare for holiday well-wishers. I can’t remember any holiday party or dinner that I’ve attended that this stew hasn’t been served. At my house this is a staple on Christmas Eve. I always have a pot ready to warm my husband and I up after strolling Old Town and enjoying the luminarias. Similar to, yet different from the “pozole” served in Mexico, this popular dish is served as a soup, a main course, or a vegetable side dish. Posole, the processed corn, is the main ingredient of this dish of the same name. If posole corn is not available, you may substitute hominy–the flavor won’t be quite the same, but it will still be good.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: New Mexican
Heat Scale: Medium
Servings: 6  


3/4 cup dried posole corn
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds lean pork cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 cups finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 cups pork broth
3 tablespoons ground red New Mexican chile
1 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican
Salt to taste
Flour tortillas
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped onions
New Mexico red sauce


In a large saucepan or stockpot, cover the posole with water and soak overnight. Bring the water and posole to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the oil, and when hot, reduce the heat to medium, add the pork, and brown. Remove the pork when it is browned, and add it to the posole. Add the onions to the skillet, and fi needed, additional oil. Add the onions to the skillet, and if needed, additional oil. Saute the onions until they turn a golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Transfer the mixture to the pot with the posole.
Add the broth to the pan, raise the heat, and deglaze the pan, being sure to scape all the bits and pieces from the sides and bottom. Pour the broth into the posole pot.
Add the remaining ingredients to the stockpot, bring to just below boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the posole is tender and the meat is starting to fall apart. Add more broth or water if necessary.
Place the chopped onions for the garnish in a sieve and rinse under cold water to remove the sharpness.
Place all the garnishes in small serving bowls, ladle the stew into individual soup bowls, and serve accompanied by warm flour tortillas.

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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.

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