Posole is a special type of large kernel white corn that is “slaked” or soaked in lime or wood ash. The lime dissolves the outer layer of skin and then the corn can be dried and preserved.
Luckily, I am now able to find dried posole at the wonder that is Kalustyan’s, New York’s landmark for fine specialty foods. However, I have been known to hit the brakes for a Mexican supermarket, regardless of which town I am in.
Posole stew, like the one featured here, is what I fell in love with in New Mexico. It is a ceremonial dish to celebrate life’s blessings and is traditionally served on Christmas eve.
This particular version contains no meat. However, pork or chicken often make an appearance and sometimes green chile takes the place of the dried red ones featured here. The red Chile Colorado sauce is a bit labor intensive but very much worth the effort. To make this a hearty vegetarian dish, simply use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth that the recipe calls for.
The closest I ever came to this growing up in Texas was canned hominy. Sure, I suppose you could substitute it for the dried posole that this recipe calls for but it would be a mushy shame.
Here is the recipe…