Traditional Posole

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Try Chef Barbara Pool Fenzl's take on posole, an original Southwest comfort food. Posole is an ancient feast day dish and is a favorite on New Year’s Day, when it's eaten for good luck.

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Ingredients

  • 2 dried red New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 cups canned hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ pounds lean boneless pork, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Suggested Sauces: Ancho Chile Relish or Chipotle Sauce

Directions

  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the chiles and toast until slightly softened and aromatic, about 1 minute per side.
  2. Remove from the pan and tear into small pieces; set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the cumin seed and toast until lightly browned and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a coffee or spice grinder, mini food processor, or a mortar and pestle and crush the seeds; set aside.
  5. Combine the hominy, pork, onions, garlic, oregano, water, chile pieces, cumin seed, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and the kernels of hominy burst and are swelled, 2 to 2½ hours. The stew should have plenty of liquid, so add more water if necessary throughout the cooking time. Taste for salt and add the remaining teaspoon salt, if necessary. Serve with the sauces of your choice.

Tips/Techniques

This is a rustic stew, so you don’t need to crush the toasted cumin seed to a powder. To prepare the dried chiles, just pull off the stem, shake out the seeds, and tear into strips.
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