Deep red, earthy, sweet, 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.
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. 🙂
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 this article.
Making Instant Pot Red Chile Posole
Why Use My Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?
I have made this dish on my gas stove, in a slow cooker, and in a pressure cooker. I prefer the results obtained using the pressure cooker! The cubed pork gets tender in a fraction of the time, and it’s easy to control the texture of the hominy.
Posole is both an ingredient and a dish.
Steps for Making Red Chile Posole
I do this in 2 steps: First, I pressurize the frozen posole (hominy) in a generous amount water for about 15 minutes. After a quick pressure release, drain the posole, and set it aside. Note: Posole is both an ingredient and a dish. The photo at the left is an example of a widely available brand.
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). 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 posole/hominy back into the pressure cooker, and stir to combine and heat through. Serve with your preferred garnishes and enjoy!
Tips and Suggestions
- 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.
- 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.
If you’re looking for more recipes with fabulous New Mexican flavors, check out my Grilled Green Chile Polenta With Citrus Shrimp and my Savory Waffles With Green Chile & Sausage Gravy. If you’ve enjoyed New Mexican dishes, I have to ask, red or green? It’s the official state question after all… 😉
- 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
- cotija or queso fresco
- Add the posole to the pot. Cover with water to the "maximum" line. Pressure cook on "beans" setting medium (about 15 minutes) or about 15 minutes if doing it on the cook top. 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.
- Brown pork cubes with chopped onion, garlic, and cumin on the saute or browning setting (medium-high on cook top).
- 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 20 minutes.
- While the pork cooks, prepare the garnishes.
- Do a natural pressure release.
- Add the posole into the pot with the tender pork. Stir to combine.
- Ladle the posole into bowls, and top with preferred garnishes.
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.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321 Total Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 1016mg Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 32g