I’ve been using a pressure cooker for years – the old-fashioned kind with a rattly weight that sits on the top and a 1950s-looking pressure gauge. I love it for its ability to make food taste like it’s been cooking for hours, even when it’s only been cooking for 30 minutes or so. This past Christmas, I got a fancy electric pressure cooker, and it’s my favorite new toy. So far, I’ve mostly used the electric pressure cooker to make soup, including this easy red posole.
Posole (or pozole) is a classic Mexican soup or stew of meat, vegetables, chiles and hominy. If you’re not familiar with hominy, it’s big kernels of corn that have the outer husk removed. Hominy doesn’t taste like sweet corn, but more like the maize used to make tortillas or tortilla chips.
There are red versions of posole, usually made with pork, and green versions, usually made with chicken. Diners add fresh toppings – often sliced radishes, cabbage, diced onion, avocado, fresh cilantro or lime wedges – to their bowls of hot soup.
Traditional posole recipes involve soaking dried hominy and dried chiles, and stewing bony cuts of pork. This quick and easy version uses canned hominy and boneless pork loin, and it gets much of its flavor from a can of enchilada sauce. Pressure cooking makes this soup taste like it’s been simmering for hours. If you prefer, you can get the same effect from a slow cooker.
To make this soup, saute chunks of pork, along with onions, garlic, chile powder, paprika and salt, in olive oil until the pork is browned and the onions tender. If using an electric pressure cooker, you can use the saute setting for this step. If using a crock pot, this step is not absolutely necessary, but the pork will have better color and flavor if you saute it in a large, heavy-bottomed pot before putting it in the slow cooker.
After the pork is browned, add a can of red enchilada sauce, a can of diced green chiles, and 5 cups of chicken broth. Secure the pressure cooker’s lid and cook using the automatic soup setting, or cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure using a natural release. If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Add a can of white hominy that has been drained. You don’t need to rinse the hominy – the starch that clings to the kernels will thicken the soup slightly. You can usually find hominy in two places in the grocery store: near the canned corn and near the Mexican ingredients. Mexican brands of hominy have a little firmer and chewier texture than American brands. I like both kinds, but I prefer Mexican-style hominy for this soup.
Simmer the soup with hominy for 10-15 minutes, using the saute setting on the pressure cooker or the high setting on the crock pot. At the end of cooking, add 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 1/3 cup chopped cilantro.
I like to serve this soup with sliced radishes, sliced cabbage, diced avocado, and additional fresh cilantro. Another good accompaniment is crunchy tostada shells that have been toasted in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes and sprinkled with salt.
- 1 ½ pounds pork loin (or substitute pork shoulder, if you want a fattier cut of pork)
- 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 medium onion, diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon ancho or New Mexico chile powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- 14.5 oz. can red enchilada sauce
- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 15 oz. can white hominy, drained
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- Sliced radishes
- Sliced cabbage
- Diced white onion
- Diced avocado
- Additional fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Set an electric pressure cooker on the saute setting and add the oil. When oil is hot, add the pork, onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, oregano and paprika. Saute until meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Add enchilada sauce, green chiles (undrained) and chicken broth, and stir to blend. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook using the soup setting, or cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release pressure using a natural pressure release.
- When pressure is released, remove the lid and add the hominy. Select the saute setting and simmer the soup for 10 minutes to heat through. Add the lime juice and cilantro.
- (Optional) Saute the pork, onions and seasonings as directed above, using a heavy-bottomed pot. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add enchilada sauce, green chiles and chicken stock, and stir. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
- Add hominy and cook an additional 30 minutes until heated through. Add lime juice and cilantro.
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