Santa Fe recipes: Casa Chimayo’s New Mexican posole

Posole is pure New Mexican comfort food. While it’s served at family dinners throughout the year, it’s considered a holiday dish showing up on many family tables at Christmas and New Years. The corn based dish is rich and spicy and has been made in New Mexican families for generations. Roberto Timoteo Cordova, owner of Casa Chimayó Restaurant in Santa Fe, can trace his New Mexican roots back to 1598. His ancestors arrived with Juan de Oñate and the first Spaniards to settle here. They arrived in Chimayó in 1695 after the Spanish returned at the end of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. At that time, they also settled in Truchas and Cordova further up the High Road to Taos.

Cordova family of Chimayo, NM at Christmas

Santa Fe recipes: Cordova family at Christmas Grandma Tita in front, photo/courtesy of Roberto Cordova

Cordova is passionate about his family’s history, including the culinary part. His restaurant serves what he calls “las comidas de las abuelas” (the food of the grandmothers). He calls it “authentic” New Mexican food. The recipes have been passed down in his family. He shares his grandmother Teresita’s (“or Grandma Tita as she was known to us”) posole recipe here. Should you have too much holiday cheer, he says it’s a great hangover cure. ¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Casa Chimayo’s Posole

Posole from Casa de Chimayo

Casa Chimayo’s Posole, photo/courtesy Casa Chimayo

© Casa Chimayo Restaurant Recipe author: Helen Cordova

Posole is a very traditional dish around the holidays in Northern New Mexico.  It is a rich and hearty dish that sticks to your ribs, and warms you up from the inside out.

Serves:  6 to 8

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: varies from 1½ to 3 hrs, depending on type of posole (hominy) selected.
Total Time: varies, depending on posole used (see note below).

Pork Ingredients:
3 lbs. pork shoulder
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tsp salt or to taste

Chile Ingredients:
10 to 12 Casa Chimayo Red Chile pods, (Note:  the more pods, the more intense the flavor and heat of the chile).
2 cups broth, or enough to allow pods to puree easily in blender (Do not fill blender more than halfway with hot liquid).
4 cloves fresh, peeled garlic
Salt to taste

Posole Ingredients:
1 lb. posole, dried or frozen. Canned hominy may be substituted if dried or frozen are not available; add it in the last 15 minutes of cooking to preserve texture.
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp salt

Method:
You will essentially be preparing this recipe in three stages:  pork, chile, and posole.  These are then combined into the final posole.

Step 1 – Prepare Pork:
Place pork shoulder in a pot and cover with water.
Add 1 tsp salt, cumin, bay leaf and onion.
Bring to a boil uncovered and then then cook, covered, over medium heat until tender and falling off the bone; about 1½ hrs.
Remove meat from broth and let cool; reserve broth for later.Pull meat from bones and cut into small bite size pieces, set aside.

Step 2 – Prepare Chile:
Place rinsed chile pods, stems and seeds removed in 2 cups of hot broth and let soak about 20 minutes, or until soft.
Place broth, pods, and garlic in blender and blend until smooth.  Add salt to taste and set aside.

Step 3 – Prepare Posole:
If using dried posole let soak overnight, then proceed to next.  If frozen, defrost thoroughly then proceed to next step.
Drain and rinse posole.
Place posole in a cooking pot and cover with water. Use approx. 2 parts water to 1 part posole.
Add onion and salt

Bring to a boil on the stove, then lower heat and simmer until posole has started to “bloom” (about 1 to 1½ hrs).  The posole will swell and start to resemble popcorn, but will still be chewy.  At this point add the pork, chile, and any remaining broth into the posole and let it finish cooking.  The key to a successful posole is watching for it to finish “blooming”.  Posole is fully cooked when it has opened completely, and is tender when chewed.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve in bowl and place garnishes on the table so that each can do their own.  Garnish are optional and may include: sliced limes, chopped fresh cilantro, finely chopped onion, oregano, cubed avocado, or grated cheese.

Note:  Total cooking time for this dish will vary greatly, depending on which kind of posole you select (canned, frozen, or dried).  Best estimate would be anywhere from 2-4 hrs.  Just remember, dried posole will take the longest @ 3 hours, frozen will shorten cooking time somewhat, and canned will be the shortest at taking about 1½  hours.

Do you have a favorite Santa Fe recipes to share? We’d love to hear from you.

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13 Responses to “Santa Fe recipes: Casa Chimayo’s New Mexican posole”

  1. Charles Higgins
    December 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Posole is a staple at our house..great recipe here..thanks..

    Cheers..

    • Billie Frank
      December 23, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      I didn’t know that. Interesting. Hope your using NM red chiles!

  2. Mike Roybal
    December 11, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Looks very similar to my family recipe. Unfortunately for me I have to use canned hominy because that is all that is available unless I drive for an hour.

    • Billie Frank
      December 11, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Plan ahead! I bet your family recipe is delicious.

  3. Helen
    October 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Great recipe. I had to move away from Santa Fe, but took my stash of Posole and Red Chilis with me. I added an additional step to this recipe. I made a rue of bacon fat, the chopped onion and garlic. Then added it to the red chili. It gave the Sadie’s a creamier texture and thickened it a bit. Perfect. Then I also took the liberty of adding some aromatic coriander. Amazing!!!
    H

    • Billie Frank
      October 4, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      Thank for your comment. Glad you can make posole wherever you live.

  4. Kate
    November 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I know this is from last year, but I just found it and plan to make this posole for a party – can you tell me how many portions more or less this recipe would make? Thanks!

    • Billie Frank
      November 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      We never thought to ask them. Our best guess is 4 people. I have a call into the restaurant to confirm. As soon as we get the information, we’ll update the post. We should have had it in there. Thanks for calling this omission to our attention.

      • Kate
        November 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

        How cool that you respond so fast! Thanks! I found a recipe on Rick Bayless website that called for roughly 15 pounds of meat to serve 25 so you’re probably close!

        • Billie Frank
          November 27, 2013 at 7:58 am #

          Good to know. Still waiting to hear back from them.

  5. Rob
    December 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    I’m a bit confused on the directions.. You show cumin on the list of ingredients but nowhere in the 3 steps. Is it added with the bay leaf and chopped onion in step one? Also in step one do you boil the pork covered or uncovered? I make posole every year for the Holidays and this recipe will be different than what I am used to. Thanks and Merry Christmas

    • Billie Frank
      December 24, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks for your questions as we missed those omissions. As it’s not our recipe- I checked with Casa Chimayo. The cumin goes in withe the bay leaf leave uncovered until boiling then reduce heat and cover and cook over low heat. Hope this helps. We’ll change the recipe in the post so it’s clear to readers. Happy holidays!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WIAW #5-Posole! – Happy Ramblings - December 11, 2012

    [...] are many recipes out there, but I found this one for Casa Chimayo’s Posole, which looked like it had all the elements I was looking for, while being simple. I like simplicity [...]

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