Earthy, smoky, and vibrant Chimayo, New Mexico red chile powder provides the flavorful foundation for this warming stew of tender pork and hominy. New Mexico Red Chile Posole will have you hooked on red chile!
I promised my readers and myself to post a minimum of once a week, and in my first month, I’ve already broken that promise! I have been in California taking care of my sister following a mastectomy and complications. My focus has been on helping my sister recover, and blogging had to wait. I have enjoyed talking with her, though, about the content of this post, as she has been the lucky recipient of a bag of Chimayo red chile on several occasions 🙂
New Mexicans fondly refer to home as their “Land of Enchantment.” “Enchanting” accurately describes the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. Within a fertile valley just 24 miles north of Santa Fe lies the picturesque village of Chimayo, New Mexico. This lovely, verdant valley provides a brilliant contrast to the stark beauty of the high desert surrounding it. Its fertile soil produces the renowned heirloom chile – Capsicum anuum “Chimayo.”
My husband Mark and I first vacationed in the high desert country surrounding Taos, New Mexico about four years ago. We have returned every year, and dream of retiring there. Prior to that trip, we had previously enjoyed commercially marketed Chimayo red chile, but our first locally purchased chile was “life changing” (my favorite food expression.) 🙂 We drove many miles on a dirt road from Dixon to Chimayo, and then down to Espagnola to meet Señor Steve. His chile was amazing! We’ve since purchased chile from other local farmers, and it never disappoints! The combination of soil, extreme weather conditions, and frequent drought produces the special balance of heat and flavor that characterizes Chimayo red chile.
Just prior to my trip to California, I made a large pot of posole to sustain Mark through the week ahead. It freezes really well, and tastes fresh with the addition of the fresh chopped cilantro and green onions, and fresh lime wedges. I’ve made this dish successfully in a slow cooker, on my gas stove, and in my pressure cooker. I prefer to use frozen posole (hominy) or dried, but if they are not available, canned hominy works fine. You will need to add the canned hominy no more than 30 minutes prior to serving or it will get mushy. Good quality chicken broth/stock is important. Whenever possible, I use homemade stock, but there are some very good prepared products on the market. I particularly like Trader Joe’s Organic, Cage-Free Chicken Broth. Chimayo red chile is probably a “medium” level heat, and the flavor is rich and intense. Chimayo Chile Brothers is a source I’ve used to ship chile. If nothing else will do, this red chile is worth the expense.
It is fall in the northern hemisphere – the perfect time to put on a pot of New Mexico Red Chile Posole! I do hope you’ll give it a try. 😀
Recommended Cooking Tools and Pantry Items:
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- Wusthof Santoku Knife
- Butcher Block Cutting Board
- Chimayo Red Chile Powder
- Dried Hominy
Disclaimer: If you purchase from Amazon through my website, I may receive a small compensation. This helps to offset the costs of my blog. 🙂
Red Chile Posole
- 2 pounds boneless pork loin, chops, tenderloin, roast, cubed
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion yellow or red, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin to taste
- 3 cloves garlic minced (or more to taste)
- 6 cups good quality chicken broth
- 1 (32 ounce) package frozen corn posole such as Bueno
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup Chimayo red chile powder (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- lime wedges
- green onions chopped
- Mexican oregano
Add oil to a large pan (dutch oven). Bring to medium high heat. Add pork cubes, onion, cumin, and garlic. Sauté until pork is nicely browned. Meanwhile, in a second large pot (won’t need a lid), cover posole with water and bring to a boil. Add broth to pork, and bring to a simmer. Mix red chile and water, then add to the pork and broth mixture. Add the oregano. Stir well, and cover the pot. Keep the pot at a low simmer. You will need to check periodically, as covered pots have a tendency to boil over.
The posole needs to cook about an hour (until tender but not mushy.) When it is done, remove from the heat and drain. I prefer to cook the posole separately so that it doesn’t absorb all the liquid in the pot with the pork. If you’ve substituted canned hominy for the frozen, you will skip this step. You will want to rinse the canned hominy to remove the starch. If you’ve purchased dry posole, follow the instructions on the package to re-hydrate.
At this point, the pork should be somewhat tender. However, I prefer to cook the pork for at least 2 hours on the stove, or several hours in a slow cooker. I add the posole about 30 minutes prior to serving to keep it from slurping up the delicious red chile broth.
When I am pressed for time, I use my pressure cooker. The pork and onions can be browned on the stove, broth and red chile added, then pressurize on high for about 45 minutes. Depressurize, add the cooked or canned posolé, return to a boil, and then serve.
The posolé is delicious served with avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, Mexican oregano, and chopped green onion. I usually make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for a second meal. Yum!
I probably use more red chile, but I add to taste. Proceed cautiously, as you don't want to get it too spicy!
Don't confuse New Mexico red chile powder (just ground red chiles) with the spice mix "chili powder." They're 2 very different ingredients. The spice mix has cumin, garlic, and other ingredients.
Cooking time varies according to preparation method.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 398 calories; 30 g protein; 64 g carbohydrates; 15 g fat.
We exercise restraint and portion control at Andersen casa. If you typically eat large portions, this may suit 6 rather than 8.