Green Posole Recipe (Quick)
For those of you who don’t know what posole (also spelled “pozole”) is, its a Mexican soup / stew, and its great Mexican comfort food with chunks of pork or chicken, hominy, salsa verde, and fragrant Mexican spices, garnished with your choice of lime slices, avocado, chopped raw cabbage, cilantro leaves, Mexican cheese, Pickled Red Onions or Jalapenos and thinly sliced radishes. I’ll be publishing two green posole recipes – this is the quick version. Its quick and easy enough to make a hearty weeknight one pot meal, mild enough that small kids can enjoy it as well (adults can spice up their own bowls if desired) and economical enough to make multiple batches to feed a large crowd for a Cinco de Mayo party.
Choice of Meat for the Posole. Although I generally tend to use uncooked country style ribs, pork butt or pork shoulder, cut into bite size chunks, this recipe is very versatile: you can use other cuts of pork, you can use chicken or turkey instead, and you can also use precooked chicken, pork, or leftover turkey from your Easter or Thanksgiving meal. Ideally, uncooked meat (either pork or poultry) will be best, since the juices and fat from the meat as it cooks will help flavor the soup/stew. Pork: Tougher cuts of pork like country style ribs, Boston butt, and pork shoulder are best for this recipe because they are best suited for the pressure cooker (as well as being less expensive). But if you already have some pork loin or pork chops you want to use, you can do that, too, they just won’t be as meltingly soft and tasty as the recommended types of pork. If your pork chops or loin are uncooked, cut them to the recommended size and reduce the pressure cooking time to 5 minutes. If your pork loin / chops are precooked, I’d reduce the time cooked under pressure to 3 minutes. Chicken or Turkey. If you want to use cubes of uncooked chicken or turkey instead of pork, cut the meat into bite size cubes and adjust the pressure cooking time down to 3 or 4 minutes. For precooked chicken or turkey, dice as instructed and pressure cook for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use whole chicken pieces, remove them from the stew, and shred them to add them back into the stew. For whole chicken breasts (bone-in), I’d remove the skin and pressure cook them 5 minutes; for thighs or whole legs, again, remove the skin and pressure cook them 6 minutes. If your chicken is frozen, add 1 minutes to the time cooked under pressure. Remove the whole pieces from the posole with your tongs, allow them to cool sufficiently so you can handle them, then pull the meat off the bones, either cut or shred into small pieces, and add back into the pot.
About Mexican Style Hominy. For those of you unfamiliar with Mexican style hominy, its corn, with a difference. For one thing, it doesn’t taste like the regular corn we’re used to. Especially with the commercially canned product, hominy has a much milder, more neutral, almost generically starchy taste, almost like potatoes, but a firmer texture. Actually, think of it this way: it will taste more like a tortilla than like cornbread. If you have a kid who doesn’t like regular corn, you can probably get them to eat hominy, especially if you don’t tell them what it is. The hominy is also much larger than regular corn, so that’ll help keep a finicky child from figuring out what it is. The most important difference is that hominy is nixtamalized, that is its cooked and soaked in an alkaline solution, which makes the corn easier to process. Nixtamalization also makes the corn more nutritious: corn contains niacin and proteins which when untreated are nutritionally unavailable to humans. Nixtamalization makes some of this niacin and proteins digestible, and depending on which base is used, the amount of calcium in the corn may also increase substantially.
Garlic and the Pressure Cooker. Some of you may read this recipe and see that I call for a head of garlic, and think “that’s a ton of garlic – that’s too much!”. Actually, that’s not a mistake, that amount is correct. Like roasting, pressure cooking fundamentally affects garlic, removing its bite and pungency, and leaving a milder, mellow garlic flavor. So you can add practically as much garlic as you like, the pressure cooker will not only soften it to the point where it will melt into your dish just by stirring it (no need for mincing!), but tame the sulfuric compounds which make raw garlic’s taste so strong. You get all the best of garlic, without the harshness.
Reheating Instructions. Like every other starch, corn tends to absorb any liquid it sits in, so no matter how much liquid was in your posole when you put it in the refrigerator, there will be a lot less (or none) when you take it back out. I would recommend adding water to the soup/stew before reheating, since adding additional broth or salsa may make the soup too salty for your taste.
HOMINY BUYING TIP: The best time to get a good deal on canned hominy is before Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) or the end of the year. If you don’t have a Mexican market (a carniceria) near you, I have found good prices on hominy at Smart & Final or Food 4 Less. I save even more by buying big 10# cans (105 ounces), each of which makes two batches of posole. If I’m lucky, I can get the big cans for a little over $2.00. I’ll make either red or green posole, freeze half the hominy, and then make the other kind a week or two later with the frozen hominy. (You can pull it straight from the freezer and toss it in the pressure cooker, you don’t need to defrost or adjust the cooking times because its frozen.)
1 ½ pounds of country style ribs / pork butt / pork shoulder
2 – 28 oz. cans of Mexican style hominy (total of 6 cups cooked hominy)
1 16 oz. jar Salsa Verde (or 2 – 7 oz. cans)
1 – 15 oz. can of chicken broth
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon Chicken Base or Pork / Ham Base
2 tablespoons tequila or white wine (optional)
1 teaspoon dried ground cumin ( or ½ – 1 tsp. whole cumin seed, freshly ground)
1 teaspoon dried ground coriander
½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Electric Pressure Cooker
12″ Silicone Tipped Tongs
Colander or strainer
Soup Spoon or Ladle
SALSA VERDE BUYING TIP: Again, the best time to get a good deal on Mexican food supplies is in the weeks before Cinco de Mayo or before the New Year. Keep an eye on the grocery store sales circulars for specials during those times. If you have a Vons or a Safeway near you, and you haven’t already signed up for the Just For You program, do so. Then buy a single jar of salsa verde (I like the thick n’ chunky kind myself) or 2 – 7 oz. cans. I find that generally, within a week or two, I’ll get either a “Just For You” special offer or a digital coupon for those jars of salsa verde, and then I go back and stock up.
- Open the hominy can(s) and pour into the colander. Rinse hominy thoroughly with cold water to remove excess salt and any small bits that may have come loose. Drain.
- Use your chef’s knife to cut your pork into ¾ inch – 1 inch cubes, removing any excess fat as you go. If you’re using leftover pork, chicken or turkey, skip to Step 4.
- Optional: If you have time, brown the pork chunks. Pat the pork chunks as dry as you can with a paper towel and sprinkle a few pinches of baking soda on the pork chunks. (I don’t add salt to the meat since there is already a lot of salt in the broth, the salsa and the hominy.) Preheat the skillet over high heat, add a thin film of oil to the pan, and when its hot, add the pork to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to do this in two batches.
- If you want a stew consistency, add 1 cup of chicken broth. For a thinner soup-like consistency, add the full can of broth. Add 2 tablespoons of tequila, 1 tablespoon of chicken or pork base, the peeled garlic cloves, the hominy, the meat cubes, and the salsa verde to the pressure cooker pot. Lock the pressure cooker lid.
- Pressure cook the posole for 10 MINUTES at HIGH PRESSURE (10 PSI) using NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE. (If you are using pre-cooked or frozen meat, pork loin, pork chop, chicken or turkey, see the alternate cooking times above). When the timer goes off, switch off the “Keep Warm” function and allow the machine to depressurize slowly. When pressure has been released, unlock the lid, hold it over the pot, with the top facing you, one side raised, to allow any hot water to fall back into the pot.
- Add 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried ground coriander, and ½ teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper to the posole. Stir thoroughly to incorporate the spices.
- Taste the posole and add additional salt to taste, if needed. If you need to thin it out a little further, add hot water. Ladle the posole into bowls.
- Garnish the posole with your choice of lime slices, shredded cabbage, avocado, cilantro leaves, Mexican cheese, white, green or pickled onions, pickled jalapenos and thinly sliced radish. (Or set out dishes of these condiments and allow your family and guests to help themselves.) Enjoy!
BROWNING TIPS: Browning the meat not only improves its appearance, it helps develop flavor through the Maillard reaction. For best browning results, dry the surface of the meat (surface water can hold the temperature down), use a very hot pan with a thin film of oil, and don’t overcrowd the meat (you may need to do half the meat in two batches). Adding a small amount of baking soda to the meat also helps create even more flavor compounds by increasing the alkalinity of the surface slightly, thereby permitting the Maillard reaction to occur earlier, at lower temperatures, creating more flavor compounds. (If you see any foaming in the pan, you’ve added a little too much baking soda. Its okay, it shouldn’t affect the meat’s taste, but you’ve added more than you needed. A little baking soda goes a long way.)
SPICE GRINDING TIP: If you’ve never had freshly ground cumin, oh my goodness, it is a nirvana like experience (both the heavenly fragrance and the taste). Get yourself a small, dedicated Spice Grinder, purchase whole cumin seed, and grind it fresh, a little bit at a time (as little as you are going to use for each recipe, or just a few tablespoons’ worth at a time). If you grind it fresh, use half as much cumin as the recipe calls for, then taste, before adding more. The aroma and taste of freshly ground cumin is unbelievably wonderful!
Please note, most of the "cooking" time for this recipe is time allowed for your electric pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and conversely, depressurize. You won't need to attend it during this time.
- 1 ½ pounds of country style ribs / pork butt / pork shoulder
- 2 – 28 oz. cans of Mexican style hominy (total of 6 cups cooked hominy)
- 1 16 oz. jar Salsa Verde (or 2 – 7 oz. cans)
- 1 – 15 oz. can of chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon Chicken Base or Pork / Ham Base
- 2 tablespoons tequila or white wine (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin ( or ½ – 1 tsp. whole cumin seed, freshly ground)
- 1 teaspoon dried ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- Pour the canned hominy into the colander. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
- Dice the pork into ¾" – 1" cubes, removing excess fat. If you're using precooked/leftover meat, skip to Step 4 below.
- Optional: Pat the meat chunks dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle a few pinches of baking soda on the meat chunks. Preheat your skillet over high heat, add a thin coat of oil in the pan, and then brown the meat chunks. (You may want to do half the meat per batch to avoid overcrowding.) Sprinkle a few pinches of baking soda on the meat chunks to help them brown.
- For a thicker stew-like posole, add 1 cup of broth to the pressure cooker pot, for a more soup like consistency, add the whole can of chicken broth. Add 1 tablespoon of Chicken Base or Pork / Ham Base, 2 tablespoons of tequila, a head of garlic cloves (peeled), the hominy, the meat and the salsa verde.
- Lock the pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook for 10 MINUTES at HIGH PRESSURE (10 PSI) using QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE. (If you are using pork loin or chops, chicken, turkey, leftover or frozen meat, see the alternate cooking times above). When the timer beeps, turn off the machine and allow it to depressurize naturally. When the lock is released, remove the lid and give the posole a quick stir.
- (If you have freshly ground your cumin, add half then taste before adding the rest.) Add 1 teaspoon of dried ground cumin and coriander and ½ teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper. Stir.
- Taste the posole and add salt as needed. Ladle into your bowls.
- Garnish with your choice of avocado, lime, finely shredded cabbage, sweet onions, green onions, pickled red onions or jalapeno slices, Mexican cheese, cilantro and radish slices.