Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Native Americans taught early Spanish settlers their technique for drying and preserving corn as posole or pozole, and the Europeans in turn added the pork, making the hearty stew that became a mainstay of the subsistence diet in the borderlands. The dish is simple, but be sure to allow plenty of time for the soaking and the cooking.


Cooking Methodstewing



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, hot & spicy, meaty, savory


  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound pork Boston butt, trimmed of fat and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dried posole, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight and drained
  • 8 cups chicken stock, or more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 mild red chiles, preferably ancho or New Mexican
  • Lime wedges, sliced green onion tops, chopped fresh cilantro, and grated radish for garnish


Warm the bacon drippings in a large, heavy saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the pork, onions, and garlic and sauté until the meat is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the posole, stock, oregano, salt, bay leaves, and thyme and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Add the chiles and continue simmering for another 1 to 1½ hours, or until the corn is puffed and tender but still a little chewy. Add more stock if necessary to keep the mixture rather soupy.

Keep the posole warm for up to 1 hour, and serve ladled into bowls garnished with limes, green onions, cilantro, and radish.



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