Mile High Posole

One night, we invited friends over for a winter’s night party around the campfire (read more about this gathering at the blog, In Good Taste Denver). The kids roasted wieners over the flames to make hotdogs while the adults ate this posole, which we kept warm on the stove inside. We had s’mores for dessert, naturally, taking advantage of that roaring fire that kept us warm all evening. A beautifully clear night with a canopy of stars made for a wonderful night. Whether you’re going to eat inside or out, here’s an easy recipe for our posole:
Posole

Mile High Posole: Makes enough for a party of 10-12!

Ingredients:

  • Cubed pork (2-3 pounds)
  • Can of Hominy (giant can, 64 oz)
  • Chicken Broth (2 containers, low sodium)
  • Green Chilis (whole or diced; 32 oz can of mild; freshly roasted are ideal!)
  • Onion (2 medium, diced)
  • Garlic (2-3 cloves., diced)
  • Chili pepper (1-2 tsp. to taste; ideally use various chili powders to add variety and depth)
  • Cumin (a large pinch)
  • Oregano (about 1 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (as needed)
  • Craft Beer

Optional:

  • Basil (1-2 tsp)
  • Thyme (1 tsp)
  • Bay Leaf (1-3)
  • Coriander (1-2 tsp)

Toppings:

  • Cilantro (roughly chopped, including stems!)
  • Sour cream (or full fat plain yogurt or Mexican crema cheese)
  • Green Onion (green stems sliced)
  • Limes (quarters)
  • Tortilla chips/ strips
  • Avocado (diced, strips)
  • Alternative chili powders for folks to customize level of spiciness

Tips:

  • In advance, have everything cut and ready to go (onions, green chilis)
  • Open cans; drain hominy, but if using canned chili peppers, retain liquid.
  • Choose your chili peppers carefully! Go mild if you are feeding a crowd, especially kids. Folks can always add extra spice later!
  • As the posole simmers, prepare the toppings and arrange a “serve yourself” topping bar.

Directions:

Grab a big (10 quart minimum), heavy-bottom pot. Add olive oil (about 1 tbsp), turn to medium heat. As oil heats up, swirl the oil around until the bottom is coated; add more oil if necessary.

Once oil shimmers, add small batches of cubed pork in a single layer on the bottom to brown. Let it sizzle for a few minutes to develop a crispy bottom, but don’t fully cook! Just brown one side, stir and cook a minute more then remove and set aside; a bit of pink flesh is a-ok. You will need to do multiple batches of pork to ensure good browning on one side. The pork will finish cooking as the posole simmers.

Add more olive oil to the pot and toss in the diced onions to brown. When some are translucent and brown, scoot them to outside of pot and make a bare center. Add a bit of olive oil to that spot. Add garlic and let sizzle a bit, then add chili/cumin/coriander spices to “bloom” for about 10-15 seconds max (don’t burn them!). Now stir onions back into the center and mix everything together. Pour in a bit of your beer (1/4 cup) and scrape the bottom of the pot with your stir spoon. This deglazes the bottom and releases tasty bits that may be stuck on the bottom.

Add broth and stir. Add bay leaves and other spices, stir. Add salt (1 tsp) and pepper (1 tsp).

Dump in chilis (including the liquid) and hominy.

Stir. Add back in pork and gently stir until covered by broth.

Bring to boil, then lower to simmer for about 1 hour. Taste the broth (soup) after 45 minutes and add more spices as you like.

When finished, ladle into generous bowls and let guests top as they like.

Enjoy!

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