Pork or Chicken Posole in the Slow Cooker

by Oct 18, 2017

 

Posole is a slow cooked stew/soup  made with hominy (the namesake, “posole”), chiles, and traditionally, pork (but chicken is pretty good too!)  The best part is adding the toppings to your individual bowl:  shredded cabbage, cilantro, radish, tomatoes, a big squirt of lime, some guacamole, more hot sauce, it’s a wonderful comfort food.

 

 

I first tried it when my angel friend brought over the soup and all the fixin’s in the early days after my first husband passed away.  She set all the containers on my kitchen counter, helped me get the kids to bed, loaded an old Julia Child dvd into the tv, made the margs, and ate with me while we laughed along with Julia’s antics and leaked tears.

 

Events of the past couple weeks demanded comfort food as well:   anniversary (#9) of “that trip to Emigrant Wilderness” and my widowhood, a friend battling through his last days of cancer, fires in the wine country, and an avalanche that wiped out two young lives in our community.  After a few days of sadness and making simple bean and cheese burritos for dinner, yesterday I was in the mood to really cook–a fitting time to break out the Rancho Gordo hominy.

 

 

I soaked the hominy the day before (don’t worry, you can use canned) then the next morning, while I had coffee and got the kids off to school, I browned the pork and set the slow cooker to work.  Later in the day I made the chile sauce and chopped all the veggies.  Dinner involved simmering the chile sauce with the pork and hominy and setting the table.  How was it?  Every one of us was lined up at the pot for seconds.  (Adapted my recipe from Via’s — thank you darling!)

 

 

Pork or Chicken Posole in the Slow Cooker

Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. dried hominy (about 1 cup uncooked) Rancho Gordo (or use one 29 oz. can, drained and rinsed, equivalent to about 4 cups cooked hominy)

the soup

  • 2 - 4 pork chops or chicken breast halves bone in
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon chicken broth base
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion halved (peel can be left on)
  • 1 head garlic top cut off (skins can be left on)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (omit if using canned hominy)

optional

  • 6 tomatillos husked and quartered

chile sauce

  • 10 dried chiles, California or Guajillo or some of each
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

toppings for serving

  • shredded cabbage
  • radishes thinly sliced then matchsticks
  • tomatoes chopped
  • white onion diced
  • cilantro leaves chopped
  • avocado diced
  • lime wedges
  • sour cream
  • hot chile sauce
  • tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Soak the hominy in water for 6 - 8 hours or overnight.  Drain.  (If using pre-cooked or canned hominy, add it to the posole after the meat is cooked.)

Start the soup

  1. Brown the pork chops (or chicken breasts) in the stove-top safe slow cooker insert (or other pan) over medium high heat.  Transfer the insert to your slow cooker.  

  2. Dissolve the Better Than Bouillon in the hot water.  Add to the pot with the meat.  Add the additional 2 cups water, onion, and garlic cloves.  If you're using tomatillos, add them.  Add the uncooked hominy and salt.  Set slow cooker on high 4 hours or low 6 - 8 hours.

  3. After cooking time, transfer the meat to a cutting board and remove and discard the bones.  Shred the meat using forks or your fingers.  Remove and discard the onion and head of garlic.

The chile sauce

  1. Remove stem and seeds from the dried chiles.  Rinse under water and put in a blender with 2 cups boiling water.  Let sit for 20 minutes then add garlic clove, oregano, and blend until smooth.  Pour through a strainer placed over a bowl and and press with a wooden spoon--discard the solids.  

Combine and heat the soup

  1. Add the strained chile sauce and shredded meat back to the soup (either in the slow cooker or transfer to the stovetop -- one great reason to have a slow cooker with the stovetop-safe insert).  

  2. If you're using canned (or already cooked) hominy, add it now (drained and rinsed).  Heat through until hot.

Serving

  1. When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded cabbage, radish, tomato, onion, cilantro, avocado, and any other condiments.  Pass the lime wedges so everyone can squirt on as much as they like.


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