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Try this robust Slow-Cooker Pork Posole Recipe next time you have a craving for a flavorful, hearty and comforting Mexican stew!
This popular Mexican stew has a deep rich flavor and a warming heat from the earthy chipotles in adobo sauce. While canned chipotles are not typically used in a posole recipe, it’s a great shortcut in place of the hard-to-find dried ancho and guajillo chiles that must be toasted and rehydrated. It may not be overly authentic, but it sure is tasty!
With three whole chipotles added to this recipe, this stew is not spicy-hot, just a little warm, in a good way! You can use more, or less of the chipotles in adobo to suit your taste, but I say bring the heat! Once you use as many chipotles as you need for this recipe, flash freeze the remaining peppers for other recipes. I always have a bag of chipotle peppers in my freezer, which is a good thing! Be sure to add some adobo sauce to each one when flash freezing, it’s so good!
Slow simmering the pork creates a fall-apart tender texture and intensely flavorful bite.
The key to a fantastic Pork Posole recipe is to use the right cut of meat. Pork butt (or Boston butt) and pork shoulder are the traditional cuts of pork used in this recipe. You’ll need enough marbling of fat in the pork to create the signature fall-apart tender texture. However you only need about 2 1/2 pounds of pork for this recipe. Most pork roasts found in our stores are 7, 8 and 9 pounds each, which is way more than we need for this recipe.
Instead of wrestling with cutting up a giant pork roast, I use another inexpensive, perfect cut for this stew … boneless country style pork ribs. Often sold in 1 to 1 1/2 pound packages, these close cousins to the pork butt are quick and easy and have just the right amount of fat to create tender meat and great flavor. Do not use pork tenderloin or pork chops for this recipe. The pork will be too chewy and dry – no bueno!
What’s the different between pork butt, pork shoulder and country style pork ribs?
Pork butt, pork shoulder and country style ribs all come from the same shoulder area of the pig. Some diagrams show pork shoulder as the lower portion of the pork shoulder down to the leg, and the butt is the actual shoulder. I have no idea why they call it pork butt (or Boston butt) when it actually comes from the front of the pig, but it’s a great cut for use in pulled pork dishes and this stew. My butcher tells me they use pork butt to make hams, with the rump area of the pig also used for hams.
Country style ribs come from the upper shoulder area as part of the pork butt. If I haven’t confused you by now, then I don’t know what! Just pick up a package or two of country style pork ribs and make this stew!
Our Pork Posole recipe is all about the garnishes!
Posole is the Spanish word for hominy. These oversized corn kernels are another key ingredient in this stew adding a nice starchiness and extra body. You can use white or yellow hominy in this pork posole. The final step is to top your individual bowl of Posole with loads of garnishes. Some of our favorites are cilantro, lime wedges, hot sauce, shredded cheese or crumbled Cotija cheese, sliced radishes, diced avocado, minced red onions, red pepper flakes and chips or corn tortillas. Make it your own and enjoy! This stew keeps well for several days and reheats beautifully.
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Slow-Cooker Pork Posole
For the posole:
- 2 ½ pounds Boneless Country Pork Ribs (or pork butt)
- salt and pepper
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans white or yellow hominy, drained (do not rinse)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juice
- juice of 1 lime
Optional toppings for serving:
- lime wedges
- hot sauce
- shredded cheese or Cotija cheese crumbled
- sliced radishes
- diced avocado
- red onions, minced
- red pepper flakes
- chips or corn tortillas
- Trim any visible fat from the pork and cut into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the pork pieces to the pan and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the browned pork to the slow cooker. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and once shimmering, brown the remaining pork. Remove to the slow cooker.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the last teaspoon of oil to the pan. Once heated add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano to the onions. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add the minced chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, hominy, chicken broth, bay leaf and fire roasted canned tomatoes to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, about 6 to 7 hours on high or 7 to 8 on low.
- Turn off the slow cooker and remove the bay leaf. Skim any fat from the surface of the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the juice of 1 lime. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Craving more Mexican inspired recipes?
Finally, with a quick weeknight dinner in mind, these Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe are loaded with simple shortcuts. Use up some of your canned chipotles in adobo in this casserole style classic.
Another one of our south-of-the-border favorites are these spicy and Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos. Boneless skinless thighs are cooked in a rich Mexican inspired tomato sauce with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Topped with plenty of fresh garnishes, taco Tuesday never tasted so good!
Finally, add this richly flavored Easy Spanish Rice Recipe to your next Mexican Fiesta. This rice goes well with just about any dish and is great left over too.