Soups Tex-Mex

Red posole for New Year’s Day

Red posole | Homesick Texan

I’m a black-eyed pea girl when it comes to New Year’s Day fare. A big bowl of the golden legumes, made rich with ham hocks and piquant with a dose of pepper vinegar is usually my insurance that I’m off to a good start. And throw in some smoky collards and a thick slice of ham and my good fortune is tripled! But not everyone subscribes to this view. Take my New Mexican friend Monica—she’ll be eating red posole on New Year’s Day.

Remember where we were 10 years ago? Yes, we were all waving our hands and fretting over that Y2K nonsense which predicted a computer glitch would bring the world to a standstill come midnight, January 1, 2000. Living in New York City, nothing terrified me more than being stuck in a city caught in a meltdown, so I made a plan to be in Texas for New Year’s Eve 1999 instead.

“Come on down!” said Monica, who lived in Dallas. “We’re having a big bash and you’ll be safe here. Plus, I’m making red posole.”

Red posole | Homesick Texan

I’d never had red posole and was a little dubious that she was serving this instead of black-eyed peas. She assured me, however, that this is what her family ate in New Mexico, not to mention it was traditional New Year’s Day fare in Mexico as well.

As she began to make the posole, she pulled out a large bag stuffed with the elegant red New Mexican chiles. They were dry but pliable and if you sniffed you could smell their fire and spice. I had never cooked with whole dried chiles before, so I was an eager student, curious to see how it was done.

She then threw into the pot the hominy or posole (as it’s known in Spanish), which gives the dish its name. These huge corn kernels have been soaked in lye water until the hull and germ have been removed, an ancient process called nixtamalization. And what’s left behind is a flavorful thick puff with enough chew and squeak to keep things interesting.

Besides our dancing like fools to Beck and Prince that New Year’s Eve, I remember how Monica’s house was fragrant with pork, chiles, garlic and corn as the posole simmered on the stove. And when the clock struck midnight and we discovered that the world was still intact, we tucked into a bowl of the rich red soup thick with hominy and looked ahead to not only a new year, but also a new decade and a new century as well.

Red posole | Homesick Texan

I think we can all agree that this past decade has been challenging. But there have been many highlights for me as well, the biggest of which was starting this blog and getting to know so many of you as we’ve connected over our mutual love of good Texan food. And while I usually prefer black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, I can’t help but wonder if Monica’s red posole didn’t help steer me onto this path. If so, I am eternally grateful.

So I raise my bowl to y’all for being such a bright spot in the past decade–may y’all have a peaceful, prosperous, healthy and happy New Year!

Red posole


Ingredients:
1 pound of dried posole or two 29 oz. cans of hominy, drained
2 tablespoons of lard, bacon grease, corn or canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound of pork shoulder, cubed
8 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups of water (can substitute part with beer or chicken broth for more flavor)
1 smoked ham hock
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (can substitute regular oregano)
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
9 New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
One avocado sliced, for serving
One lime cut into wedges, for serving
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Diced onion, for serving
Tortillas and tortilla chips

Method:
If using dried hominy, soak the hominy a gallon of water for at least 8 hours until it’s doubled in size.

In a large pot, heat up the lard and cook the onion for 10 minutes. Add the pork and brown on each side for a couple of minutes. Throw in the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Pour the water into the pot and add the ham hock, oregano, cumin, ground cloves and ancho-chile powder. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer.

Meanwhile, take your New Mexican chiles and cook on high in a dry cast-iron skillet until the pop, a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat, add water to the skillet and let the chiles soak until hydrated, about half an hour.

Drain the chile-soaking liquid, and place the chiles in a blender. Add one cup of water and blend on high until a smooth puree has formed. Stir the chile puree into the soup pot.

After a couple of hours, add the hominy to the pot along with the juice of one lime and the chopped cilantro. At this point, adjust your spices and add salt to the pot. Continue to cook on low for a couple more hours.

Pour into bowls and serve with diced onions, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, avocado slices and tortillas or tortilla chips.

Yield: 8 servings

Author:
Lisa Fain


HOMESICKTEXAN.COM
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  1. That just looks amazing – I can almost taste it just looking at the pictures. I may have to modify my New Year's Day menu now.

  2. I agree about the black eyed peas on New Year's Day. I make a creamy black eyed pea dish along with some stir-fried cabbage, because grandma always said cabbage was for money. 🙂 You posole sounds lovely!! Aside from calling for lard or bacon grease (swoon,) you used pork shoulder and ham hock. That sounds like comfort food to me!

    I hope you have a very Happy New Year!!

  3. I was talking about posole last night on Twitter and this only makes me want it more. I love the little bit of lime with it here, too!

  4. This sounds beyond awesome! I've been thinking about making posole, so the timing couldn't be better. We'll rely on black-eyed peas for luck, but will make this post haste after the new year dawns. Seriously, this looks freakin' good!

  5. Well, "technically" the new century started in 2001. But I will allow it and give you something else to chew on,

    Southern Mexican Pozole –

    28-30 oz. can of Las Palmas Hot Enchilada Sauce
    28-30 oz. can of hominy
    1 lb. of pork carnitas

    mix all plus a can of water together and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
    My Abuelita got lazy in her later years so this is what I grew up with and I LOVE it.

    Served with a side of Lime, Radish and chopped Onions with "Bolio (bread)" torn in half.

    Oh My Goodness.
    This year my sisters are making their first trip to Texas to spend new years with me so I have made sure a hundred times that they are bringing some Las Palmas with them cause you can't find that anywhere near Houston. (and Old El Paso is just not the same!)

    Thanks for the suggestion, I think I will make Pozole for NY Dinner!

  6. *tips hat* looks heavenly, ma'am, though i'm partial to the verde. happy new year, lisa, and thanks for the blog. keep 'em coming!

  7. What a great coincidence. I have been sampling various brands of hominy to know which to use when the time comes. Which is, thanks to you, soon. This recipe is just what I was hoping for. Gracias!

  8. Question and comment…

    Serves how many?

    It's hominy, not homily. heh.

  9. This is just a great post! Well writen and that opening paragraph made me instantly hungry. I have always used canned hominy for soups and just yesterday bought some dried in a bag. I was going to make the posole recipe on the bag, but will use this one instead.

    Thanks for sharing this special recipe.

  10. We usually have black eyed peas, and the usual accompaniments but the posole is a great idea. I've been making a similar posole for several years, since finding the recipe in Gourmet. I absolutely love the stuff, but sometimes have to add more hot sauce as the dried chiles and seeds are sometimes not as hot as we like it. I've loved hominy since I was a child in the deep south, and my personal favorite brand is Goya.

  11. Oh, I do love posole. I am so going to make this for New Year's day! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Happy New Year!

  12. I was in Dallas for that new year too…at my sister's for a house party and we danced the night away while watching the countdown and holding our breath for the 'crisis'. Luckily, I can find blackeyed peas here in Ireland now so I'll be making my favorite soup with juniper sausage. I got it from the Statesman years ago and it is the best big pot of luck for the new year you can find. Happy New Year!

  13. Richard T

    Hi Lisa, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your life's journey with us on this blog, I always look forward to your posts & have tried a number of your recipes…most with rave reviews!!

    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

    Take care…

    Richard T
    Dallas, TX

  14. Natanya–It's a worthy addition, I assure you!

    Kelly–Oh, yes, cabbage is for money, though I sometimes make collards instead. And I love ham hocks–they're my favorite secret ingredient! Happy New Year!

    Apronless–What serendipity! And I love the lime juice, too. It really brightens up the dish.

    Lucy–Thank you!

    MidnightAgenda–Love your lazy version! Have a wonderful New Year's fiesta with your sisters.

    Burkle–Why thank you, sir! I like the verde as well.

    Jumper–Let us know which brand of hominy you end up preferring!

    SSCutchen–Er, thank you! I've updated the recipe–I reckon it serves 8.

    Lea Ann–Thank you–I reckon I'm doing my job if you're hungry! Enjoy your posole.

    Lily–The hotter the better!

    Andrea–Enjoy and Happy New Year!

    Alden–That's excellent news that you can find black-eyed peas in Ireland. i had no idea! And that soup sounds fabulous. Happy New Year!

    Richard–Why thank you! Happy New Year to you and yours, too!

  15. I'd love that pasole recipe!

  16. I agree with the need for the black-eyed peas…..love them from my visits to your lonestar state with the ham hocks, yummm and I'm from Northcentral WI…good wholesome food is good wholesome food. A sweet tea and I'm right there
    Happy New Year and
    Blessings Be Yours

  17. I am making a New Years Resolution to make posole – but I had no idea it was actually a New Years traditional dish! This sounds heavenly.

  18. Posole sounds perfect for New Year's Day. Happy 2010 to you!

  19. I made this for New Year's and it's so good I can't stay out of it. Yummy! We had to skip the ham hock since we couldn't find any anywhere (boo) but I threw in some pork bones from the freezer and it was still ah-may-zing! I also couldn't find dried hominy so we had to use canned and it was a little… gummy. I'll keep my eyes peeled for dried. I think it'd be a lot better. This is going into regular rotation around here. THANK YOU!

  20. This pozole looks fantastic. I wonder how the spelling changed for this dish. I've only known it as pozole, but I've seen some others spell it with an "s", too. I guess because the "z" is pronounced the same as the "s" in Spanish. Anyway, the dish is beautiful. I'm not crazy about pozole (the regular kind), but this red version is quite intriguing.

  21. Lisa, thanks for this recipe. My pot of posole is simmering right now. It smells sooo good! PS. I was born in Hominy!!! Oklahoma that is. 🙂

  22. I am originally from California, but have lived in Texas for 34 years now, and the black eyed pea thing just never set well with me, although, I don't remember any particular tradition from California. I do love Posole, though, and I will try this recipe, it sounds really good. I have a daughter-in-law from Argentina and their New Year's tradition is to eat one grape for each month of the year for good luck, so that is what we did this year. Next year, we will try both the grapes and the Posole!

  23. your blog popped up in the next blog category, i too am cooking blacked eyed peas with a hambone for flavor – happy new years from cove texas – via beach city and tool.

  24. My husband makes the very best posole ever. He's also a New Mexican and his recipe is very similar to yours. Recently, he made a batch which I think was even better than usual. We figured that the only difference was that he sprinkled in red pepper flakes while the pork pieces were browning. Could be that or that we had been almost a year since the last batch! It's too easy to make to only have at Christmastime (we use canned hominy–can't taste a difference and enjoy the ease). As another ex-pat Texan I love your blog!

  25. This Californian is thinking like a Texan. I made a big pot of green chili last night for New Year's. I garnish it with the same: avacado, lime, fresh salsa, sour cream and some tortilla chips. The peppers are still on my fingers……..I am going to try your red posole next. Thanks for posting

  26. Happy New Year Homesick Texan!
    I also made Pozole for New Year's Eve instead of menudo this year!

  27. I learned to love New Mexico food this year when we visited. But I had posale several years ago and loved it too. Must get my hubby to cook this… he's my resident chef.

  28. Yum! Sounds great! I'm partial to black eyed peas, but think I will definitely have to try this dish sometime! 🙂

  29. This looks delicious! I will try this.

  30. Lisa, I ended up making my own hominy from scratch (again!) I documented this here:
    http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2010/01/posole-corny-story-part-ii.html

    I'm a little late for the "eating on $1.50 per day" thing some folks were doing on the internet a while back, but this may qualify.

  31. Ha ha I remember that year about Y2k scare alright. I was freaked out too. And waiting for the coming of midnight on New Year's Eve was filled with dread instead of the usual excitement. Lucky for us, it was all a hoax. That aside, this red posole dish looks very yummy. I could tell just by looking at it that this is the kind of hot dish that could warm freezing tummies on a frigid New Year's night.

  32. I'm intrigued! I posted about black-eyed peas today and heard about that special "Texas Caviar" you guys do… but this is a whole other avenue I'll have to try.

  33. Sharon–Thank you!

    Dar–Indeed good wholesome food is just that!

    Tasty Eats at Home–I didn't either until my friend told me.

    Megs–Canned hominy is nothing like fresh, but sometimes you have to use what's available. Glad y'all enjoyed the recipe!

    Memoria–That's a good question!

    Kay–You're very welcome! Enjoy!

    Teresa–Black-eyed peas aren't for everyone. I have friends who swear they taste like dirt. And I need to add the grape tradition to my New Year's Day routine–sounds lovely!

    Dome Home Builder–Happy New year!

    Jana–Oh! I'll have to try your husband's idea to sprinkle red pepper flakes on the pork as it browns. Fantastic!

    Denise–That green chili sounds like a bowl of heaven!

    Evy–Happy New Year to you, too!

    Jodie–How wonderful that your husband is your resident chef!

    Katy–As long as it's cold outside, I find that posole is good anytime, not just on New Year's Day.

    Farmer Jen–Thank you!

    Jumper–Great story!

    Distresseddamsel–Weren't we all so silly?

    Georgia–I'm a big fan of the Texas caviar as well. Plus, it makes a great starter for a posole dinner.

  34. I'm trying this out in the crockpot today. I just went home and added the chili puree at lunch. It smelled delicious!

  35. Posole looks fantastic. You are the second blogger to mention the black eyed pea tradition. My roots are southern and I had no clue. Thanks for teaching me something about myself.

  36. My gringo mouth could only take about half the number of chilies prescribed, but the end result was still delicious!

  37. This posole looks oh so good. I bet it is filled with flavor. I have never had posole but I would be all over it if it was in front of me. I should try making some….thanks!

  38. Looks amazing! Always wanted to try this, now I will. Love your blog! Happy 2010!

  39. This looks fantastic! I love hominy, too…yum!

  40. I made a seafood-based red posole instead of using pork:
    http://headcheeseandjellybeans.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/red-posole-for-the-new-year/

    It was delicious. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration, and happy new year to you too.

  41. This sounds wonderful! Happy New Years~

  42. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I'm a homesick ex-pat Arizonan living in WA and I've missed posole so much! Made this 3 days ago for New Year's and the flavor was perfect. You're an angel.

  43. Ok, so my parents are both from Mexico and every year we all travel to Dallas to eat some red posole makes. It is somewhat of a tradition to do this during the Christmas Holidays and everyone just loves my aunt's posole. This New Years Eve, I decided to surprise my parents and the rest of my family by using your recipe. Let me tell, it was delicious. My parents couldn't stopping eating and at the end, there was no posole left for me. Thank God I tasted it while cooking it. Thank you so much for your recipe.

  44. Whenever a recipe takes more than a couple hours of simmering time, I prefer to make it in my slow cooker, so I don't have to keep checking on it (making sure it has not lost too much liquid, not scorching, or playing with the temp to keep the simmer consistent).

    So, have you ever made this in a slow-cooker? How would you adjust this recipe for a slow-cooker?

  45. Drew–I've never made this in a slow cooker.

  46. Made this tonight for the Super Bowl. Superb!

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