Deep red, earthy, sweet, slightly smoky northern New Mexico red chile powder provides the amazing complexity in this Pressure Cooker New Mexico Red Chile Posole With Tender Pork and Hominy.
Hola from McAllen, Texas! Tamara here from Beyond Mere Sustenance, a blog that focuses on healthy dishes with global flair. I’m excited to bring you a recipe I’ve made for over 20 years – New Mexico red chile posole or pozolé.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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!
Pressure Cooker Posole
- 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)
- 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.
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 cook top model, bring it to pressure on high, and then reduce heat to medium to keep the pressure.