Slow Cooker Odyssey: Posole!

January 13, 2017

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  • Wow! I’ve never made posole, assuming it was too fiddly. But this looks like life-changing magic, right here.

    If you were using fresh tomatillos, would you say about a dozen would do it?

    • I recently used fresh tomatillos and it was fantastic. Plus it was fun to “shuck” them. A dozen sounds great.

      • Thank you! Looking forward to trying this 🙂

  • My abuela is rolling in her grave at quinoa being subbed in for hominy, but my abuelo, who hated hominy like you can’t even begin to imagine, is nodding from his.

    Now, take your recipe a step further with the leftovers (assuming there are any): shred the remaining pork, add enough masa harina (and a bit of salt, cumin, cilantro, and chile powder) to make a thick, paste-y batter, and fry up some posole fritters. Traditionally, you would pan-fry these crunchy little things in lard, but an equal amount of vegetable oil and butter will do quite nicely.

    • Oh good lord, there’s an idea.

    • Lard for the Whole30 crowd.

    • This tip alone inspires me to make this soup. Plus, bonus: soup!
      I overcame my hominy prejudice thanks to my mother-in-law’s braised pork shoulder dish. How much would I need to put in to sub for the quinoa here? maybe a can, drained? (I overdid quinoa last summer and can’t even look at it anymore.)

    • This. We will do this! I can’t wait. Thank you.

      • (And by THIS, I am referring to Liz N’s exquisite plan for possible fritters, above.)

    • Posole fritters. Yummmmmm.

    • Dear heaven! I can’t wait to try this.

  • Kay’s Kitchen KlueTM: Trader Joe’s roasted plantain chips instead of Fritos = extra fauxthenticity.

    • Excellent Klue. (Meanwhile, don’t tell anyone this, but ALDI’s version of Fritos is perfection. The brand is Clancy’s.)

  • Who’s going to “onepot” the prep of this recipe, a la the world’s easiest similar recipe for green chicken chili verde over at Serious Eats?

    • Yes! Green chicken chile is a staple over here too. (If you want to spark controversy, add white beans.) I am all about a one-pot strategy. We recently slow-cooked a pork shoulder with green salsa, then pulled it and served in tacos. The next day, we added broth, quinoa etc. to the leftover and turned it into more of a posole-inspired pork soup.

  • But I do want hominy in my posole! How should I adapt your recipe? Or shall I just go back to my old Sunset recipe, cooked on the stove?

  • Now I have another question: what pattern is that delightful soup bowl with jaguar, flowers, and hummingbird?

    • Thank you! Lynn Chase, Jaguar Jungle. There’s a turtle in the bottom of the bowl that makes me happy even when the food’s all gone.

  • Ok, I’m going to be the bad guy here but once you substitute quinoa for hominy and add Fritos it is no longer Posole!! Canned tomatillos? Come on!! Call it Posole inspired or just Spicy Pork soup but this is not really Posole!! Mom and my Tias are rolling their eyes!

  • With all due respect, posole is posole because you use dried corn (maiz crudo) or nixtamal (partially cooked corn/maiz or canned maiz. What quinoa substitution does is create new dish: “Quinia Stew with tomatillos”! Would beef bourguignon retain that name if chicken were substituted for beef and white wine for red? Call me a purist but posole is maiz cooked with pork (or shrimp in the Yucatan). It is fabulous as it is and should remain unscathed!

    • Yes, yes, yes! Posole requires posole. And as much as I like Fritos, they belong to that new quinoa dish and not to posole. Real posole should be eaten with warm corn tortillas. But, I will say a thank you for getting me in the mood to make some posole.

    • I really enjoy this blog, but some of the responses to the issue raised that the name of the dish “posole” literally refers to the ingredient hominy, such that posole=hominy, felt insensitive and were disappointing. I realize that I’m late to the commenting party, but the recent recipe round-up brought this up for me again.

      Innovative recipes and tailoring them to your likes and dislikes are great, but it’s also great to honor the language and heritage that a recipe comes from, and to acknowledge mistakes. Changing the recipe name to “posole-inspired quinoa stew” wouldn’t take much effort and would be way more descriptive of the actual recipe.

  • HAHAHAH – when you said it tasted like betrayal, I thought it was because you hated it, not because you loved it. I had posole once, and it was very heavy on oregano and hominy, and in fact I did not like it at all. Imagine both my interest in how you made it from betrayal to an article, and then my surprise that it was a very different experience than my own.

    I’ll be laughing about this all day. What does betrayal taste like to you?! Good or bad?!

    • Hahaha! I have made more than my share of betrayal-flavored food. Most recent was a particularly traitorous polenta cake with texture of bird seed.

      • Yes, this white washed “Posole” probably would taste like betrayal to Mexicans who have been eating this dish all their lives. You really should clarify that this is a Posole inspired dish, not a traditional Posole.

        • Hi Lourdes,

          You are totally correct that this recipe is not authentic posole. In fact, Carrington makes that very plain. It’s a slow-cooker recipe (for one thing), in which the author points out that a major traditional ingredient has been taken out to suit her family’s taste.

          Kay and Ann

  • But…wait! They make canned tomatillos? I’ve only ever bought fresh ones!

    • Yes, whole tomatillos, packed in H2O. But they’re not always available at my store. It’s weird.

      • Okey dokey, after a year of pondering this recipe, I made it today in response to this week’s New Orleans Sneauxmaggedon. Still couldn’t find canned tomatillos (I tried 5 stores, t’all, including the local Latin market!) so I used 14 small fresh ones. Used one can of drained hominy instead of quinoa. We just finished eating big bowls of it, and it was spectacular! Thanks!

  • Posole is the black eyed peas of New Mexico. We ate it on New Years Day for good luck. It’s a lot like spaghetti sauce – you put in it what you have on hand. Constants were the posole (hominy), chile (red or green) and meat. Mutton was very common. We just had it made with ham left over from Christmas. So good!!

  • Yesterday was a slow cooker kind of day, gray and rainy, so I was delighted to see a new stop on your odyssey. An hour before dinner, I threw in a half cup of quinoa and the contents of a can of hominy, drained, and topped it with queso fresco, avocado, toasted tortilla strips and lime juice. Yum!

  • Ann & Kay, to take the titular ingredient out of a recipe and keep the same name, then slap some Fritos on it is really disrespectful to the culture and cuisine of Mexico. No, this isn’t “the soul of authenticity” – it is cultural (mis)appropriation and I expect more from MDK. And that nonsense about rojo and verde wasn’t cute at all. It’s ignorant, rude, and ugly American.

    • For every dish with a long tradition, there are 86,000 ways to make it, and just as many arguments about authenticity. So often a substitution, born of necessity – budget, allergies, aversions – yields a happy accident… which can then become enshrined as “authentic.” Or not! But in the authenticity wars, I’m usually on the side of deliciousness and practicality, and Carrington’s recipe sounds like that.

  • When my son spent a year in as a volunteer teacher in Chiapas, Mexico, he begged me to send him a big jar of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. One of the dietary staples in that poverty-stricken region — he lost a pound every 64 hours during his first two months there — was pesole [sic]. He claimed that with enough Lawry’s in it, it tasted of… Lawry’s. Otherwise, it was reminiscent of pure tastelessness. Since then I have steadfastly refused to believe that pesole/posole is anything a person would choose to eat if there were any other choice. While I am not quite ready to give up that notion completely, your recipe definitely tempts me. (I am pretty sure the pesole he ate consisted of ground dried corn and water, period.)

  • Well, we came in the door, home late from bowling league night, needing a fast meal. The ‘posole’ was done, but the quinoa had not been added. We reheated leftover rice in the microwave, scooped it into our bowls, and ladled in the pork and tomatillo soup, topped with the crunchies and some tortilla chips. It was delicious! I did not think that my pork repertoire would have a new entry at this late date, but there it is. It ws my first time cooking with tomatillos. I used fresh because my supermarket had them fresh, but not canned. I will watch for canned tomatillos, for the larder. When the pork shoulder goes on sale, I’ll be ready.