Posole is a comforting Mexican soup with shredded pork and hominy (hulled corn kernels). The hominy is the backbone of this posole soup (pronounced pho-soh-lay), which can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock and omitting the pork. Either way, it's best garnished with lots of cilantro, cheese, and lime and served with warm flour tortillas.
This is one of those rare recipes, surprising in its flavors and beautiful in its simplicity. It simmers for hours in the oven which makes it a perfect meal to cook on a Sunday afternoon. If you have never worked with tomatillos, you will enjoy the tart and bright flavor they bring to the party. Choose small ones at the grocery store and wash in the sink to remove the sticky residue after you peel back the husk.
Ingredients for the stew
3-4 pounds of pork shoulder roast or another bone in pork cut
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch evoo)
2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
6 cups chicken broth (Better than Bouillon paste mixed with water or homemade)
1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed and quartered
3 jalapeños, stemmed and halved
1 onion, trimmed and quartered
1/2 cup broth
2 bunches fresh cilantro leaves and stems
3 (15-ounce) cans hominy, white or yellow, drained and rinsed
Fresh cilantro leaves
Corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Prep the meat
Trim excess fat from the meat and cut or tear along the muscles to divide the roast into large pieces. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper.
Char the salsa
Toss the tomatillos, jalapeno, and onion on a baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Crank the oven up to broil and place the sheet pan close to the heat source. Watch for black spots to appear on the veggies, it will seem slow at first and then all of a sudden look charred. I usually start a timer for 3 minutes and then check it every minute afterward. Once one side is nice and charred, I remove the sheet pan, flip all the veggies and char the other side too. Set the sheet pan aside while we cook the pork.
Cook the pork
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the meat and bones and stir often until it is no longer pink on the outside, about 8 minutes.
Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, frequently stirring, until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the oregano, broth, and ½ teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. With a large spoon, skim off any scum that rises to the top. Cover the pot, and place it in a 300-degree oven. Cook until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
Puree the salsa
While the pork cooks in the oven, move all the charred veggies along with any juices on the sheet pan to a blender. Add 1/2 cup of water or broth and blend until smooth. Add 2 bunches of cilantro leaves and stems and puree again until smooth.
Shred the pork
Remove the pot from the oven and using tongs, pick out the tender pork and move to a sheet pan (I use the same one that I charred the veggies on.) When the meat is cool, shred it using your fingers or the tines of 2 forks and discard the bones.
Bring it all together
Stir in the hominy. Cover and bring the stew to a simmer on top of the stove over medium-low heat. Cook at a low simmer uncovered for 30 minutes to allow the hominy to soften and heat through.
Stir the shredded meat back into the stew along with the tomatillo salsa. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
The stew can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Spoon off the hardened fat and bring back to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Ladle the stew into individual bowls and serve immediately with the garnishes.