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Instant Pot Red Chile Posole

Deep red, earthy, slightly smoky northern New Mexico red chile powder provides the amazing complexity in this Instant Pot Red Chile Posole. With lean pork, hominy, and a few pantry ingredients, it can be on your table in about an hour, but tastes like it cooked for hours! 

This recipe first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today where I am a monthly contributor.

2 ceramic bowls of Instant Pot red chile posole with garnishes and a bright colored napkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration

I did not misspell “chile.” In the 16th century, Spanish immigrants to the New Mexico area changed the indigenous name “chilli” to “chile.” In 1983, Pete Domenici (long-term senator from New Mexico) made “chile” the official name of New Mexico’s red and green chile peppers.

New Mexicans think of “chili” as a protein based dish with spices and with or without beans. That’s your trivia for today. ๐Ÿ™‚

FYI: Red chile powder is healthy. Capsaicin is a natural anti-inflammatory, fights stomach upset, and strengthens the immune system! For more information, see Spice It Up: 5 Benefits of Chili Powder. Remember, though, it’s “chile” not “chili!” Lol.

🌶️ About Red Chile

Red chile varies both in heat level and flavor depending upon the region in which it grows, and whether it is oven dried or sun dried. Perhaps you’ve seen the little packets of red chile powder in the Mexican foods section of your local market?

The color may not be the intense reddish-brown color of the sun-dried red chile from northern New Mexico, but will still have plenty of flavor. I do my best to keep red chile from northern New Mexico in a vacuum-sealed jar in my pantry!

The chile culture in that part of the state is really interesting. The locals can taste a dish made with red chile and tell you whether it came from Chimayo or Dixon! My palate is not quite that well-developed. Lol. However, I can tell the difference between northern and southern New Mexico red chile. For more on red chile, see Chile: Red or Orange.

🍲 What is Posole?

I suppose that depends on who you ask! I will attempt to answer from the perspective of a New Mexican (home for 22 years). We think of “posole” as both an ingredient and a stew.

Posole/hominy is nixtamalized corn. At the risk of over-simplifying, corn is soaked in lye, which removes the outer hull of the corn. After the corn expands, it is dried, leaving a product that is more like a bean.

The process of nixtamalization allowed the indigenous people of Central and South America to preserve their corn for extended periods of time. It could then be used in making tortillas and stews like posole. For more information, see Hominy is Like Corn with Superpowers.

From a culinary perspective, canned hominy is inferior to dried or frozen posole. The dried or frozen posole maintains more of its earthy flavor and a slightly chewy texture that cannot be matched by the canned hominy. Do not forego making this red chile posole if you can’t find it, though! You will still get a delicious result…

Remember: Posole is both an ingredient and a dish according to New Mexicans!

~~ Tamara.
Instant Pot Red Chile Posole  in a blue ceramic bowl with copper spoon, print napkin, and garnishes.

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

  • frozen posole – I prefer frozen posole, but here in south Texas, it’s hard to come by. I provide instructions for subbing canned hominy. I have also had good luck with dried and reconstituted posole. The texture and flavor of both frozen and dried is nuttier, earthier, and a little bit chewy (which we love!). However, you will not be disappointed using canned hominy.
  • lean boneless pork – I use pork loin, but boneless pork chops or pork tenderloin are fine too. Pork tenderloin requires less cooking time to become tender.
  • onion – red, yellow, or white
  • garlic
  • ground cumin
  • chicken broth/stock
  • ground New Mexico red chile – There is no worthy substitute if you’re making New Mexico red chile posole. You can use Mexican red chile – ancho, guajillo – but the flavor will be quite different. Run away from generic “chili powder.” It’s a spice blend with several ingredients.
  • beer, optional – I keep Corona and “Coronitas” on hand for cooking. This posole uses 12 ounces, so the regular size is perfect. Substitute any clean flavored lager. You don’t want hop-forward or malt-forward beers messing with the flavor. On the other hand, you can add extra broth/stock, and omit entirely.
  • Mexican oregano
  • bay leaves
Ingredients for Instant Pot Red Chile Posole - good chicken broth, beer (optional), lean cubed pork, cumin, garlic, Mexican oregano, bay leaves, chopped onion, hominy (aka posole).

🍲 Why Use My Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?

I have made this dish on my gas stove, in a slow cooker, and in my Instant Pot. I prefer the results obtained using the pressure cooker, and it’s almost always the method I use! The cubed pork gets tender in a fraction of the time, and it’s easy to control the texture of the hominy.

🔪 Instructions

  1. Prepare the frozen posole/hominy – Add the posole followed by water up to the fill line to the bowl of your Instant Pot. Pressurize for 15 minutes. After a quick pressure release, drain and rinse the posole, and set it aside. Note: Posole is both an ingredient and a dish. The photo at the right is an example of a widely available brand.
  2. Prepare the posole stew – Rinse and dry the inside of the pressure cooker. Add a bit of oil to the pot. Cook the cubed pork, garlic, and onion on medium-high heat if using a stove top model, and on the sauté setting if using an Instant Pot or similar. Cook until the pork is browned, and onions are soft. Add the cumin, Mexican oregano, bay leaves, broth and red chile, and beer (optional).
  3. Pressure cook the posole stew – Lock the lid, and cook on high on the “stew” setting (about 20 minutes in your cook top model). After releasing the pressure, add the COOKED posole/hominy back into the pressure cooker, and stir to combine and heat through.
  4. Serve with your preferred garnishes and enjoy!
Bueno brand frozen posole in a bag.
Cooking steps: 1. Brown the pork and aromatics. 2. Add beer and broth, remaining herbs, and pressurize. 3. Release pressure. 4. Add cooked posole. Garnish and serve!

💭 Tips

  • In many parts of the country (or world), canned hominy is the only option. Omit the first pressurization. Add the rinsed and drained hominy after the pork is tenderized.
  • Dried hominy is another option, but it will require a pre-soak before cooking. After it is pre-soaked, treat it like frozen (step 1 above).
  • Don’t use generic “chili powder.” This is a spice blend that has a lot of fillers – onion, garlic, salt, etc.
  • There is no substitution for red chile powder, but you can use Mexican chile powders like guajillo and ancho.
  • New Mexico red chile powder varies in heat level. If it’s not marked, it’s probably considered “medium.”
  • Beer is not gluten free! It is optional, and easily omitted. I only add it if I have beer on hand.
  • This makes a large pot of posole, and leftovers freeze well. The posole will continue to absorb liquid, but you can add some broth or stock to the pot when you thaw and reheat it.
  • Using a stove top pressure cooker? On a stovetop model, bring it to pressure on high, and then reduce heat to medium or low to keep the pressure.

Do you prefer to make your red chile posole on the stove? I’ve got you covered with New Mexico Red Chile Posole! For #MeatlessMondays? I’ve got a delicious Vegetarian Pumpkin Posole that’s perfect for chilly fall days.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

🧂 Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Mexican Oregano
Chimayo Chile Powder

📖 Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Instant Pot Red Chile Posole

Instant Pot Red Chile Posole Feature Image

Deep red, earthy, sweet, slightly smoky northern New Mexico red chile powder provides the amazing complexity in this Instant Pot Red Chile Posole. It can be on your table in about an hour, but tastes like it cooked for hours! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
De-Pressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 32 ounce bag frozen posole, thawed (see notes)
  • water to the maximum line
  • 2 pounds lean boneless pork, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup ground New Mexico red chile see notes
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of beer, optional (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt +/-
  • fresh ground pepper

Garnishes

  • cilantro
  • lime
  • cotija or queso fresco
  • avocado
  • tortilla strips - baked or fried

Instructions

  1. Cook the posole/hominy - Add the posole to the pot. Cover with water to the "maximum" line. Pressure cook on "beans" setting (about 15 minutes). Do a natural release for about 5 minutes, then release the pressure. Drain posole, and set aside. It should be tender but firm. Rinse and dry the pot. While hominy cooks, prep the stew ingredients.
  2. Cook the pork - Brown pork cubes with chopped onion, garlic, and cumin on the saute or browning setting (medium-high on cook top model). Whisk red chile powder into the chicken broth/stock. Add to the pot along with the beer (if using), Mexican oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Note: This amount goes right to the maximum fill line of my 6 quart pressure cooker. Set to the "stew" setting or on the cook top for about 30 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare the garnishes - While the pork cooks, prepare the garnishes.
  4. Finish the posole - Add the cooked posole/hominy into the pot with the pork mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Serve - Ladle your red chile posole into bowls, and top with preferred garnishes. Enjoy!

Notes

Beer is not gluten free! It is optional, and easily omitted. I only add it if I have beer on hand.

If you can't find the frozen posole, you can substitute canned hominy. The texture is less firm, and you will not pressure cook the canned hominy! Add it in after the pork is cooked, allowing enough time in the pot for it to heat through. Dried hominy is another option. It will require a pre-soak before cooking.

This makes a large pot of posole, and leftovers freeze well. The posole will continue to absorb liquid, but you can add some broth or stock to the pot when you thaw and reheat it.

New Mexico red chile powder varies in heat level. If it's not marked, it's probably considered "medium."

On a stovetop model, bring it to pressure on high, and then reduce heat to medium to keep the pressure.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1016mgCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 32g

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19 Comments

  1. Hello! thank you for this recipe. I made it tonight per instructions, minus the beer.
    I live in New Mexico. Posoleis a staple here. This is the best posole recipe I have found! We are just delighted! It was very authentic Wouldn’t change a thing.
    Thank you for the courage to write and post your recipes. I will be following and looking for more from you.

    1. You have made my day! Thanks for taking the time to write. We were in Las Cruces, NM for 22 years, and will always consider ourselves New Mexicans. To hear from a New Mexican that my posole was really good makes me so happy! Warmly, Tamara.

  2. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I searched and happen to find your recipe on Pressure Cooking Today. I grew up eating posole for Christmas or before Christmas. My mom who is from New Mexico would make tamales and with the extra meat would make posole. Usually in the jumbo enamel pot on the stove, so she could have extra to freeze.
    I have a pork roast thawing, cans of hominy, red and green chile. I plan on making both this weekend. But was stumped on when to put in the hominy. So thanks!
    PS I really miss the frozen hominy. You can’t find that here in the midwest.

    1. Thanks for sharing this with me! I miss the tamale making with my kids – we did them for special occasions! The main thing to remember with the canned hominy is to minimize the cooking time. If you don’t plan to use a pressure cooker, I have a “regular” recipe on my blog as well! Merry Christmas!

  3. I love this recipe and I have to say that I do like the red but I am officially a green girl. It just seems to have more zest to it! This is perfect comfort food.

    1. Haha Jennifer! Thanks for weighing in on such an important question ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, posole – either red or green – is a perfect comfort food! Christmas Eve, our comfort food will be menudo. I’m curious how my readers feel about that one!

  4. I’ve got several recipes that I use the chili word in all different spellings….. the one thing that I can agree on is they are great in anything! Posole is one of my favorite dishes…. this is a little different than how I season mine…. can’t wait to try it!

  5. That is so interesting that the locals can tell where the chili originated from. That is one refined palate. My hubby is a big fan of cooking in the pressure cooker and I noticed that the meat always is melt-in-the mouth delicious whenever he does. That said, I’m embarrassed to admit that I, myself, have never really cooked in this vessel. I guess it’s because my mom never cooked this way so I really never learned how. But what a beautiful dish this is. I’ll have to add it to my husband’s list of things to cook. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I’d say it’s definitely southwest comfort food Jane! You will rarely find a New Mexican that doesn’t crave it – especially in the winter!

    1. Chile, chili, chilli! It’s all good ๐Ÿ˜‰ You should get a pressure cooker Michelle… I have found they’re at least as useful (if not more so) to busy cooks than a slow cooker!

  6. What a beautiful recipe! I love cooking with chile but am not experienced with pressure cookers ever since I was told if I ran throiugh the kitchen when one was on the stove it would explode. I need therapy because of it I think.

    1. Haha Julie! I grew up quite afraid of my mom’s pressure cooker ๐Ÿ˜‰ The modern ones are so safe, though. I have both stove top and electric models, and I am more likely to use them than my slow cooker for similar dishes because I don’t plan well enough to get the slow cooker going in the morning.