Recently I’ve heard Posole mentioned a few times on the TV and then read about it in the newspaper. To me that’s a sign I need to get cooking. Posole is a traditional Christmas Eve soup served in New Mexico. It’s known as a ceremonial dish for celebrating life’s blessings. I didn’t want to wait until Christmas and since every day should be celebrated, I gathered my supplies and got cooking. Oh and by the way, it’s naturally gluten free and dairy free.
Posole corn is prepared by soaking hard kernels of field corn in powdered lime and water. After several hours, when the corn kernels have swollen, the liquid is allowed to evaporate and the kernels to dry. Posole is different from hominy, another kind of processed corn, which tends to be softer and more bland. Compared to hominy, posole’s flavor is intense and earthy, its consistency more robust. It’s difficult to find posole corn, so in it’s place I used hominy. Hominy is often used as a substitute in posole stew.
The liquid base for this stew is a combination of stock and pureed peppers. You can use chicken stock, pork stock or vegetable stock if keeping it vegetarian. Over the weekend I cooked up a new batch of Scrapple to have on hand for school morning breakfasts. I reserved some of the extra pork stock and used that in this stew.
Making this stew does take a little work to prepare the peppers, but it’s totally worth it. It creates a soup that has a deep rich taste with many layers of flavor. I hope you will give this recipe a try and see for yourself. This recipe made enough for 6 large bowls of soup so you know where the leftovers ended up. Right in my freezer for a quick meal on a soccer night!
Note- this can easily be made vegetarian/vegan simply by changing out the stock for a vegetable stock and not adding in the meats.
1 Onion diced or sliced
1-3 Garlic cloves chopped
Stock to fill pot
8-15 New Mexican Chili peppers reconstituted, blended and strained
Water to fill pot with peppers
2-4 cups cooked Pork shredded
2-3 Cooked Chicken Breast meat shredded
1 large can Hominy
1-2 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Toppings: salsa, cabbage, radish, lime, onion, tortillas
Cut the tops off the dried peppers and shake out the seeds. Place them into a pot and cover with water. You’ll want lots of the liquid that the peppers cooked in leftover to use in the base for the stew. Turn the peppers on high and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 20 minutes. Let them cool off a little before putting them into a blender. If they are still hot make sure the blender top has an escape for the steam. It’s better to wait a little and not impatient like me. While you’re waiting for them to cool, cook up the onions and garlic in your stock pot in a little oil until translucent. To this you will add in the ingredients to build the stew.
Back to the peppers. Puree the peppers in the blender with a some of the liquid they cooked in. Pour the pureed peppers into a strainer and using the back of a spoon or a spatula press it through the strainer. You can see what is left behind in the strainer and what came through the strainer.
Pour the thick liquid that came through the strainer into your stock pot. Add in any remaining liquid from the peppers that you strained into the pot and the chicken or pork stock. You’ll want enough liquid to support the meats.
Add in the meats, oregano, salt, pepper, and hominy. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to cook on medium low for 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to check out What can I eat that’s gluten free.
Update: This was submitted to Slightly Indulgent Mondays at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. To make this a little healthier you can omit the pork.