Fall is my favorite time of year: comfy sweaters, crunchy leaves, pumpkin-spiced everything, and posole? Oh yes. Any person who grew up in a Mexican or Mexican American household knows what I'm talking about. If your abuela or mom brings out the big stock pot, you know your entire family is coming over for dinner and some bomb champurrado.

My family normally makes this posole recipe in a big batch for holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas when my very large family gets together. However, I still make a smaller batch for myself every year, when fall quietly makes itself known. I usually freeze the leftovers and warm them up when I become homesick during school. This soup instantly makes me feel comforted because it reminds me of being with my family, and the warm, spicy broth evokes this feeling of being wrapped up in a fluffy blanket.

One nice thing about this recipe is that it is very forgiving. The variety of toppings allows for creative combinations, as well as control for those who don't like certain ingredients. This soup relies on a “low and slow” style of cooking to make sure the pork shoulder is fall-off-the-bone tender and the broth has enough time to develop its signature spicy flavor. While more traditional posole recipes normally require more spices, the posole recipe I’ve grown up eating uses red enchilada sauce to achieve the same flavor profile without all the work of boiling and pureeing chilies.

Mexican Red Posole

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:4 hrs
  • Total Time:4 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs pork shoulder/butt trimmed excess fat
  • 6 to 7 cups water
  • 1 can yellow hominy
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce mild or medium heat
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 to 4 bay leaves
  • 1 head red or green cabbage thinly shredded
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 to 3 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 tub Mexican Crema for garnish optional
  • Oregano optional
  • Tortillas or tortilla chips optional
  • Salt to taste optional
Katherine Luo
  • Step 1

    In a large stock pot, add pork shoulder, 6 cups water, enchilada sauce, garlic cloves and bay leaves. Simmer over medium-low heat with a lid slightly ajar for 3 ½ hours. Check on pork shoulder occasionally to ensure it is fully immersed in the broth. Add extra water if needed.

    Jazmine Velasquez
  • Step 2

    After 3 ½ hours, add yellow hominy and stir the soup to incorporate all the ingredients. Add salt to your personal preference. If you add too much salt, just add some extra water and let simmer without the lid.

    Katherine Luo
  • Step 3

    While hominy is warming up in broth, start to prep toppings. Cut cabbage head in half and with the cut side down on chopping board, thinly slice diagonally to shred cabbage, then set aside. Cut each radish in half, then cut into a half moon shapes and set aside. Dice onion and set aside. Finally, cut limes into quarter wedges and set aside.

    Katherine Luo
  • Step 4

    If desired, warm tortillas on a griddle and set aside on a plate.

    salt, sweet, bread, wheat, flour
    Callie Carlson
  • Step 5

    Check on soup. The pork shoulder should fall apart easily, and hominy should be warmed thoroughly. If there is any extra fat floating at the top of the broth, skim it off with a large spoon.

    Katherine Luo
  • Step 6

    Serve in a large bowl and add desired toppings. I personally layer all toppings in the following order: a small pinch of oregano, a handful cabbage, onion, radishes, a dollop of crema mexicana, and lime juice. Best if enjoyed with family and friends.

    Katherine Luo

This posole recipe is one of my favorite family recipes because it can be easily changed in a variety of ways. If you like green enchilada sauce, use that [instead] *in place* of red enchilada sauce. If you don’t like pork, use chicken, or make a vegetarian posole by omitting any meat and using a vegetarian stock instead. You can even make homemade tortillas if you prefer those over store-bought tortillas. The point of this recipe isn’t to get it exactly right, but rather to enjoy this comfort food with good company and good times.