Traditionally this dish is part of many celebrations of life in Mexico as well as US border towns from birthdays to weddings to large family gatherings. When it’s made at home or for a party it is best to serve it family style. Posole can remain in the stockpot and be served directly from it with the accompaniments at the table where guests, friends and family can add as much or as little of the ingredients as they please.
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried pasilla chiles
- 1 dried chile de arbol
- 1 ½ lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3-inch cubes
- 1 medium white onion (6 oz.), halved and peeled
- ½ heads head garlic (about 1 ¾ oz.)
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 15-oz. cans hominy, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
- ½ cups crema or sour cream
- Shredded green cabbage, chile oil, cilantro, lime wedges, and/or avocado for topping (optional)
In a small dry skillet over medium heat, add the chiles. Cook, turning frequently, until fragrant and lightly blistered in places, 1-2 minutes total for smaller chiles and 4-5 minutes total for larger ones; remove. Discard their stems and shake out and discard the seeds.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the chiles and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the chiles and the cooking liquid to a small food processor or blender; carefully purée until smooth, then set aside.
In a large, heavy pot, add the pork, 5 cups cold water, half of the onion, the garlic, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, bay leaves, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the pork is very tender, about 3 hours. Remove from heat and use a strainer or a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large heatproof bowl (reserve the broth). When the pork is cool enough to handle, pull it into large shreds.
Set the strainer in the bowl, and strain the broth over the meat (discard the solids). Return the meat and broth to the pot and set it back over medium-high heat. Add the hominy and the prepared chile purée and bring to a simmer. Cook until the hominy is hot and the broth is thickened,15-20 minutes.
Finely dice the remaining onion half. Divide the posole between 8-10 wide soup bowls. Top with crema or sour cream, chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, cabbage, and a squeeze of lime if desired. Serve immediately.