Slow Cooker Posole

Slow cooker posole is an easy version of authentic Mexican posole–or stew–made with pork, hominy, onions, garlic, plus all the traditional toppings. The only thing missing is the constant need to tend it on the stovetop.

Slow Cooker Posole

This slow cooker posole is an easy yet authentic Mexican expression of comfort food. The robust stew includes meltingly tender shredded pork along with hominy and onions that are gently coaxed to sweetness. If you’re lucky enough to have some leftover posole, goodness gracious, the options are endless. Harness it as a burrito or taco filling, plop it atop some rice, or simply slap a fried egg on top and consider it breakfast. Originally published November 1, 2017.Angie Zoobkoff

Special Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker

Slow Cooker Posole

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 4 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (30 ml)
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (567 g), trimmed and cut into 4-inch (10-cm) pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 white onion (about 1 cup), chopped, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 cups canned chicken broth or homemade low-sodium chicken stock
  • Two (15-ounce) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
  • For serving
  • Chopped avocado
  • Sliced radishes
  • Fried corn tortilla strips or tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  • 1. Preheat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker on high until warm, about 20 minutes. Season pork with salt.
  • 2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the pork to the skillet and cook until the pieces are browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • 3. In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion, garlic, and chili powder and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Transfer everything in the skillet to the slow cooker along with 2 cups broth. Cover and cook until the meat is very tender, 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • 4. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl and, using 2 forks, shred the pork. Return the pork to the slow cooker and stir in the hominy. Stir to combine and to warm the pork. Season with salt to taste.
  • 5. Serve the posole with avocado, radishes, tortilla strips, and lime on the side for each person to add as desired.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Slow cooker posole is new to my culinary library, but like many slow cooker recipes, the sum is much more than its parts. I could smell this would be good, but 8 hours of warm magic transformed the pork, garlic, onion, and chili powder into a stew of meaty broth slicked with a warm shimmer of fat that I wanted to devour. The nubs of hominy added an earthy corn flavor that’s almost like a ready-made southwest gnocchi.

I really enjoyed this easy slow cooker recipe—the posole had a lot of flavor (plus a good amount of heat) for minimal effort! There was a nice variety of textures in the dish between the hominy, the avocado, the tortilla chips, and the soup. Definitely a great weeknight dinner as long as you run the slow cooker the day before you plan to eat it. I had a slight oversight that ended up working out perfectly fine—I missed that the shoulder should have been cut into 4-inch pieces. I left it as one chunk, browned it a bit, and then added it to the slower cooker (which I oiled a bit before preheating for 15 minutes). After 4 hours on high the meat was falling apart tender. I didn’t even have to remove it to shred, although you certainly could do so if easier. I also enjoyed it with a bit of shredded cotija and some diced poblano from the garden in addition to the suggested accompaniments.

Comments

  1. OMG, I LOVE posole and now, thanks to this timely post, I’m going to make some for this weekend. The weather’s turning brisk here and getting a bit wetter and this will be perfect for warming body and soul!

    I make a good posole myself but NOT one that compares to the deep, dark, earthy flavor of the best posoles we get here in Los Angeles from a good Mexican restaurant. So, your post got me off my lazy butt to ask my wonderful Mexican housekeeper what my posole was missing.

    Here’s her advice and maybe you’ll want to consider it for your posole too:

    • She says pork shoulder isn’t enough. You definitely want to get some espinazo as well. That would translate to vertebrae and pork neckbones is what your butcher is most likely to have available. …and maybe you’ll have to ask for them a day or so in advance.

    • She also says you want to get 7 or 8 dried California chiles. Remove the seeds and stems if necessary and soak them in boiling water until you can puree them into a sauce. Use that along with the chicken broth instead of the far less robust chile powder. The California chiles will not make your posse more hot — as in piquante — just much richer and more authentic.

    • Traditionally posole is also served over shredded lettuce along with the sliced radish. And the texture contrast between the warm, thoroughly braised, earthy pork broth & hominy with the bright, crisp lettuce and radishes is as much what this elixir of the gods is about as the sublime flavor. Add that avocado, to be sure, and be generous with the fresh lime juice!

    I don’t mean to be a pain in the butt messing around with every recipe. But there’s gringo posole and then there’s real posole and the real stuff is what you want.

    1. You’re so right on the difference between gringo and real, Rainey, as well as which one we want. As you can see from the title of this recipe, it takes a few shortcuts. But we sooooo appreciate your and your Mexican cooking mentor’s advice! Thank you!

  2. I know it’s not authentic, but do you think theres a reasonable substitute for the pork? Would love your thoughts!

  3. My first try at making posole and it was absolutely delicious! So easy – I kept the pork shoulder whole (actually it was two pieces tied together which I untied), browned it as directed and put it in the cooker on high for 4 hours. Fell apart. My finicky husband loved it as well. Radishes, avocado, tortilla chips and lime provided great taste and texture contrasts. This website rocks!

  4. This posole was delicious and simple to make. I used my Instant Pot-rice-slow cooker, and it came out perfect. After browning the meat and sautéing the onion, garlic, and chili powder I put it under high pressure for two hours. I used about twice the meat so that there would be leftover meat for tacos. The seasoning was spot on–I used hot New Mexican Chili powder.

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