Years ago at Hop Kiln Winery we had a crockpot posole rojo with chicken that was a revelation with Marty’s Big Red – a meritage that’s now just called “Big Red.” I later discovered posole is really meant to have pork, and should be made with dried chiles and dried hominy. So the whole thing was one big shortcut, but still tasted great.
Anyway, yesterday I found myself with the best of both worlds. The pork was already ready to go thanks to the braised carnitas I made on Thursday for Cinco de Mayo, so I broke out the dried chiles for a little toasting and soaking. If you’ve got a good market nearby (that’s not to say your regular old grocery store), it’s at least as cheap, if not cheaper, than the canned route and provides better flavor. The carrots I add on general principle – everyone needs more veg.
Quick(ish) Posole Rojo
4 oz. dried red chiles (I used guajillo and pasilla)
~ 4 c. boiling water to cover (this will depend on the bowl you’re soaking the chiles in)
1/2 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, divided – 2 for the chile sauce, 2 more for the posole, sliced
3 c. chicken broth
1 t. Mexican oregano
1.5 t. salt (or to taste)
2 c. shredded pork (leftover from braised carnitas)
1 29 oz. can white hominy
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped into half-inch disks
Garnish with a squeeze of lime, radish slices, cilantro, cheddar cheese, plain yogurt.
Stem and seed the chiles. Toast them over low heat in a dry pan until they become fragrant, turning frequently. Soak the chiles for 3o minutes in a large bowl with ~4 c. boiling water (enough to cover). When the chiles are softened, blend them with the soaking water, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 white onion until smooth. You’ll probably need to do this in batches, depending on the blender. Strain the chile sauce through a mesh sieve to catch the chile skins.
In a large dutch oven, combine the chile sauce, chicken broth and oregano. Add the pork, hominy and carrots and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes (or until the carrots are softened). You want the sauce to reduce a bit. Add salt to taste.