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New Mexico Red Chile Posole

November 11, 2009

~ John ~


This recipe is common in New Mexico.  I have a client site in Albuquerque (ABQ) and that is where I was introduced to Posole.  This soup plus its creamy cousin are refered to as “Crack Soup”.  These soups embody the earthiness of NM.  If you have never flown in ABQ at night, the first thing you smell is the scent of sage brush in the air.  New Mexicans look forward to the chile season.  People get excited about getting freshly roasted chiles and how they will use them in their favorite recipes.

Posole uses red chile, hominy and pork.  Pretty simple but the red chilis make it NM.  The flavor is quiet at first but the spiciness covers your month quickly. 

Overall it is a good recipe that tastes even better over time.



Red Chile Posole 

makes 1 Gallon

In large soup pot over med-high heat saute:

1 Diced Onion
3 Pounds Diced Pork

When pork is slightly browned add:

12 Cups of  Beef Broth
1 Pound Dried Hominy – you can use 2 pounds of canned hominy, but then you may have to thicken the soup with a little corn starch

1/4 Cup Granulated Garlic
4 Cups Bueno Brand Red Chile Puree I’m pretty sure this is extremely expensive to have shipped
**Update** I purchased Hatch New Mexico Chiles from The Real South West I seeded and cleaned 12 chiles then boiled in 3 to 4 cups of water then put in the blender until smooth.  Worked perfectly!  Thanks to the comment from Maegan Earickson below.

Let simmer until Hominy is soft, about an hour and a half and stir in:

1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Mexican or regular Oregano

At home we garnished ours with: Cilantro, Corn Nuts and Parmesan Cheese.  We serve them with Corn Muffins at the account. 

Amber (who’s more native to those parts of the country) from Native Food & Wine says they garnish theirs “….. with cilantro, lime, chopped onion and very hot chili sauce.” Thanks for having our back Amber!

The longer you simmer the better it tastes and gets even better as a re-heat the second day.

52 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 1:16 am

    Gorgeous pic. Makes me want to jet off to NM just to smell the sage brush.

  2. November 12, 2009 3:46 am

    Fabulous pic and recipe. I love the different flavor of the chili that you used here.

  3. November 12, 2009 4:06 am

    I LOVE posole. Growing up in SoCal I got plenty of it. It’s the best hangover cure in the world! Yours is quick and easy. The recipe my mom makes takes a looonnnng time. I think both are fantastic. Definitely a worthwhile recipe to try for those that haven’t had it.

    The garnish of corn nuts, parmesan cheese or corn muffins sounds very strange to me. We eat it with cilantro, lime, chopped onion and very hot chili sauce. Maybe this is the Texas version? Sounds tex-mex. … ?

    Anyway, good job bringing this little known recipe to folks.

    Amber @ Native Food and Wine

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 12, 2009 7:42 am

      Thank you for stopping by and for the garnishing tips – John brought me the recipe to make along with the Bueno Chili Puree. Not being from New Mexico I had to wing it on that part – John just said they serve it with the corn muffins at his account. I’ll add your native expertise to the mix.
      ~ Mary

  4. November 12, 2009 4:22 am

    I must say this sounds awesome! And I looove the photo, beautiful bowl.

  5. November 12, 2009 4:24 am

    That’s such a lovely bowl of chili. I would scoop a lot over my rice and eat in front of the tv…mmmm

  6. November 12, 2009 7:01 am

    The picture makes me want to pick up a spoon…right now! Sounds great!

  7. November 12, 2009 8:06 am

    The corn nut garnish is cool. And you know, if you asked for “Crack Soup” here in Baltimore, I don’t think this is what you’d get …

  8. November 12, 2009 8:40 am

    The perfect soup for a cool day!!

  9. November 12, 2009 8:49 am

    Delicious! I could use a bowl right now!

  10. November 12, 2009 9:53 am

    Looks so yummy, I love posole and can’t wait to try your recipe out!

  11. tastyeatsathome permalink
    November 12, 2009 10:44 am

    I would love this soup. I love the corn nuts, nice touch!

  12. November 12, 2009 11:20 am

    The hominy on top looks almost exactly like corn nuts! I actually thought that’s what it was at first 🙂 Anyway lovely soup, looks hearty and tasty!

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 12, 2009 12:26 pm

      That’s because it IS Corn Nuts! They added a nice crunch.

  13. November 12, 2009 12:22 pm

    John, first time on your blog and I will be back. This is such a gorgeous picture. I am not familiar with Hominy but I’m sure I would enjoy this Posole.

  14. Sean permalink
    November 12, 2009 1:30 pm

    Yum, we love posole! Gonna have to give this one a try.

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 12, 2009 2:41 pm

      long time no see Sunshine! Good luck with the move this weekend!

  15. November 12, 2009 1:44 pm

    I have never eaten hominy but have a can in my cupboard that I’ve been wanting to use. Any idea where I can find the red chile puree? Does the recipe really use 4 cups? Can I assume then that they aren’t very spicy?

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 12, 2009 2:40 pm

      Yes 4 Cups, but that’s for a GALLON of soup. It’s got a nice heat to it, but not so hot it’ll burn. As to where to find it!? We live in Chicago in a Hispanic neighboorhood and have checked out two Hispanic grocers and couldn’t find it – John actually brought it home from ABQ – it’s a frozen product. The closest thing to it, that I can think of, (please forgive me New Mexico natives!) that would be readily available is canned enchilada sauce – if you’re like me – a non-native – you won’t know the difference.

      • November 7, 2011 1:34 am

        Not enchilada sauce!
        I am a Native New Mexican, from Albuquerque as well. We use Bueno frozen chile, if we’re not making the chile sauce from dried red New Mexico (preferrably Hatch) chile pods.
        To make your own chile from pods, you use very hot water and puree them in your blender, adding the water in small amounts until the right consistancy is reached (almost that of tomato soup). We add cubed meat (usually pork) to a sauce pan and cook until browned, add garlic and salt, and then use flour to make a roux. You then add the pureed chile and reducing to make the chile sauce (think of it like a chile “gravy”).
        Because it is time consuming to make from scratch, we use frozen “prepared” red chile when we don’t have time. The type of chile you use makes a HUGE difference in the flavor! To make it authentic New Mexican posole make sure you have New Mexico chiles, it really does make all the difference in the world!

        • foododelmundo permalink
          November 7, 2011 9:46 pm

          Thank you for the info! I just got online and ordered some Hatch, New Mexico Red Chiles!
          I made this with enchilada sauce two weeks ago because I had no more of the Bueno stuff. It had been more than a year since I had the real deal, so it tasted alright to this northern girl, but I truly did miss the earthiness of the original. I can’t wait ’til my chiles get here!

        • Fran Barela permalink
          December 2, 2012 4:29 am

          Right on Maegan! New Mexican chili does is blender to puree the dry red chili pods and making the roux then pouring in the chili. The example you used about thinking of it like a “chili gravy” is a perfect way to describe how to make it. I don’t like to call it a “sauce: because I just call it “red chili” and around New Mexico everyone knows that it’s pureed, red chili “guisado” which pretty much means “red chili gravy” (OK it looses in the translation). Being a native New Mexican, a lifelong Albuquerquean, and Hispanic, I agree with Maegan… Please folks, do NOT use enchilada sauce or any kind of canned “sauce” because you won’t get the full, wonderful benefit of this wonderful, delicious treat. If you don’t have time, don’t want to try, or just don’t want to mess with red chili pods, use the Bueno frozen red chili. You shold still make the roux with your browned pork but you can substitute the thawed Bueno red chili. I also use the frozen Bueno hominy (posole). Just thaw, pour in boiling water (rinse out the bag and add to the boiling water as well. (do not rinse until hominy is popped, The sticky stuff in the hard uncooked hominy makes it “pop” when you boil it. Once the hominy is popped and firm (not hard but not mushy) then you pour out the water and rinse out the hominy. Put back in pot, add your beef stock or broth, onion, garlic and water, salt, oregeno and boil together. Add chili to desired taste (“spicyness/hotness”) or don’t add chili at all and let everyone add their own to their individual servings. We like to top our individual servings with lime, diced onion and dry oregano. Enjoy!!

  16. November 12, 2009 3:36 pm

    This Posole looks delicious!! Love how you describe the smell of the night time air in NM. I have never been, but would love to spend time there some day!!

    • Fran Barela permalink
      December 2, 2012 4:40 am

      Marla, you would love NM; especially over the christmas/NY holidays.. Posole is a traditional Christmas food along with homemade tamales, biscochitos (traditional NM cookies – kind of like a sugar cookie but made with anise (seed or extract) and topped with cinnamon/sugar before baking and also frosted with homemade powdered sugar/milk frosting using various colors of food coloringto make array of colored decoraded christmas cookies or just plain unfrosted sugar/cinnamon sprinkled cookies. We use various christmas cookie cutters. Between the biscochitos, posole and chili, and homemade tamales, it’s a family affair and my house and serves to bring my family so much closer over the holidays as everyone participates in the food preparation. Hope you make tt to NM someday. Preferably over the christmas/NY holidays.

  17. November 12, 2009 4:09 pm

    I love Posole — I make mine with green chilies and tomatillo

  18. November 12, 2009 4:52 pm

    nom nom nom! this looks wonderful I’m currently sick with a cold and I need a bowl of this great chili I know it would help clean me out and make me feel better!

  19. Sandy permalink
    November 13, 2009 7:30 pm

    “chiles” in New Mexico! Not “chili” 🙂 Posole is one of our favorite dishes here in Santa Fe…

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      November 13, 2009 7:57 pm

      Shit! is all I have to say – John & I both missed it – Katy corrected it (she’s the English Lit. major of the family) and I STILL got it WRONG!
      THANK YOU Sandy!!!
      ~ Mary

  20. November 18, 2009 10:06 am

    Beautiful. I make this every year during this time and is actually on my list for next week, lol! Yours is definitely much quicker than my version, I like that! Looks delish!!

  21. December 2, 2009 7:27 pm

    This is very different from the variation I posted this week but I really like the corn nut garnish idea. Gorgeous picture. I really have to stop taking my photos at night. I’m sure they would improve immensely.

  22. Valerie permalink
    December 12, 2010 11:24 am

    When I first moved to New Mexico 8 years ago, my first taste of Red Posole was when my neighbor from Mexico sent over a bowl. She didn’t speak english, but her kids told me to squeeze some lemon into the Posole (a squeeze of lime would probably be good too). The combination of the tart citrus and the Posole stew is absolutely DELICIOUS! I have mentioned this garnish to many New Mexicans who have never heard of doing this. I think it’s a garnish used in Mexico, but I absolutely have to have lemon in my Posole.

    • foododelmundo permalink
      December 12, 2010 1:50 pm

      Sounds wonderful, I’ll give it a go the next time I make it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  23. Mike McCarthy permalink
    December 13, 2010 9:03 pm

    I first had posole at the Ortegas home in Albuquerque over 30 years ago, and it was love at first bite ! For the last several years I’ve been winging it with a combination of several recipes I have in a New Mexico Magazine cook book. I was doing an internet search for new ideas, when I found this site. I’m going to have to try the corn nuts and lime this year. Not living in New Mexico any more, I usually use the readily available canned hominy, (the 6 lbs size) and a 5-6 lb pork roast, and red chile or enchilada sauce. What the family doesn’t eat the first night, I divide up into meal size containers and freeze for enjoyment throughout the coming months.

    • foododelmundo permalink
      December 13, 2010 9:38 pm

      You’ve got me craving this again! Thanks for the enchilada sauce reco, I’m out of the red chile puree.

  24. December 27, 2011 5:47 pm

    I’m trying out your recipe today (with a few modifications). Having once lived in NM for some 12 years, I grew to love this dish during the holidays.
    I currently live in CA and don’t have the patience to wait for HOT red chile pods from NM, so I will spice up the local red chile with hot red pepper flakes. I will also prepare my “hot” chile sauce as a side condiment, common in NM.
    I will serve it with the traditional compliment of freshly made flour tortillas, soft, fluffy and warm, rather than with cornbread.
    Thank you for this recipe, which is an easy prep compared to “an all day affair”.

  25. PumpkinKing permalink
    January 1, 2012 8:25 pm

    i live a few min from Hatch NM and get my chile from a farm there that my friends family owns. your garnishes made me raise an eyebrow to say the least, especially the corn nuts. but without growing up around here i can understand your choices. in every home and restaurant that makes authentic posole or menudo (the main difference between the two is one uses pork and the other uses tripe) the garnishes which dont make everyones heads turn are oregano, lime, hot chile sauce/paste, diced onion, cheese or sour cream (these ones are a lil less common but ok), and of cores salt and pepper. it is also not uncommon to find some1 dipping chips or flour/corn tortillas in to the soup.
    also if you are looking for another dish to serve with this one common choices include enchiladas, tamales, chile con carne, beans&rice, chile rellenos, flautas, and tacos/taquitos.
    1 more tip, if a restaurant has the word “taco” in the name 99.99999999% of the time u will only find bastardized versions of traditional food that is bland, greasy, and not worth wasting your time on

    • foododelmundo permalink
      January 2, 2012 10:02 am

      Hey PumpkinKing, I love that this recipe gets better and better with each comment that has new information. I’ve started making this soup six quarts at a time, we can’t seem to get enough of it. I had tripe once in a soup, and won’t be doing that again, ever.
      Thank you for the information and the garnish recommendations, I’ll definitely be trying them with the next go around.
      ~ Mary
      ps – changed the chile part 😉

  26. JoeNM permalink
    August 6, 2012 11:31 pm

    Legit as far as I know it. Same difference as menudo in NM subbing pork roast for tripas or pigs feet. I’m used to cilantro and lime/lemon juice in from the start. I usually buy a bushell each of red and green in season. Prepping both takes about a day, than freeze. The whole Hatch thing is a bit nonsense. Have had plenty of red chile that was better than Hatch in the same season.

    Non pork eaters should free to sub chicken or beef. If you can’t find NM red chile, ancho may work.

  27. Aimee permalink
    October 25, 2012 1:03 pm

    I ran into this recipe a year or two ago and keep coming back to it every time the weather starts to cool down! The only thing I do differently is strain my red chile after I run it through the blender, I am not a fan of the skin! Thanks for the recipe, my husband and parents thank you as well (they are all very excited that I am making this for dinner tonight)!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      October 27, 2012 3:05 pm

      And thank you for letting me know. This is one of our favorites too, at least once a month from here to April.~ Mary

  28. Mike McCarthy permalink
    December 15, 2012 11:30 pm

    OK. So we have quite a few native New Mexicans checking this out, so I have a question. This year I decided to forego the canned hominy, and found a local Hispanic market where I picked up some raw hominy. I soaked all day while I was at work, and started cooking when I got home. Cooked for about 3 hrs before I went to bed, but hominy hadn’t “popped” yet. I started again at 10 this morning, and here it is 8 pm and only about half has popped. Did I just get hold of some old hominy or what am I doing wrong.?? I have it on a low setting but still seems more like boiling on this stove.

    • James permalink
      December 30, 2012 5:30 pm

      I cook mine all day,10 hours, it becomes like a thick soup. Let it cool and then put it in the refrigerator over night. The next morning rake off the grease and heat and eat.

  29. Valerie permalink
    November 27, 2013 3:07 am

    Great to see such positive press about my hometown of ABQ. But a pet peeve, here: it’s CHILE. Chili with an ‘i’ is a bowl of beef and beans in tomato sauce that is Tex-Mex. New Mexico red chile and green chile is the plant and the fruit (and the dried pods) used in cooking our fabulous spicy foods!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      November 27, 2013 8:41 am

      Thank you. I had it right in the post’s title, but missed it in the recipe -oops.

  30. tim maupin permalink
    December 28, 2013 1:43 pm

    hi im tim from new mexico but living in GB WI ….ive just put on the stove … step-dad uses roasted green chile….

  31. Melanie Pillmore permalink
    April 8, 2015 5:07 pm

    Do you know where I can order Bueno frozen Posole. I live in Utah and can’t find it anywhere. Thank you.

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      April 9, 2015 7:34 pm

      I just order Hatch, New Mexico Chiles on line and reconstitute them in boiling water and run them through the blender. It’s great!


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