Deeply-flavored Instant Pot pork pozole is a thick soup, made with puffy hominy, lots of chiles, and tender pork. A comfort food that’s also an everyday staple, your pressure cooker makes it possible to have pork pozole on the table in 2 hours.
I love Mexican cuisine. And if there’s one dish that embodies comfort with every slurp along with some serious flavor (while remaining light), it’s pozole. In case you’re not familiar with this classic Mexican staple, pozole is essentially a hearty stew that usually contains three key ingredients: hominy (white, puffy, soft corn), chiles (usually ancho, guajillo and/or arbol) and a protein of some sort (in this case, pork). It also comes in different varieties of red and green. Any way you ladle it, pozole is one of the most wonderful things your mouth will experience and is now easier, faster and more convenient than ever to make thanks to a pressure cooker!–Jeffrey Eisner
☞ Table of Contents
Instant Pot Pork Pozole
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large Spanish or yellow onion (10 oz | 283 g) diced
- 1 poblano chile pepper (3 1/2 oz | 100 g) seeded and diced
- 4 jalapeno chile peppers 2 seeded and diced and 2 roughly chopped with seeds and ribs intact, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 4 cups store-bought or homemade low-sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 5 (15.5-ounce) cans white hominy rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder optional
- 4 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 3 pounds boneless country-style ribs or boneless pork shoulder cut into large chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 ounces dried ancho or guajillo chiles about 10 chiles, kept whole with stems and seeds removed
- 4 cloves roasted garlic or additional raw garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (7-ounce) cans diced green chiles with their juices
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sliced radish
- Lime wedges
- Shredded green cabbage
- Sliced jalapeños
- Add the oil to the insert of an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, and use the sauté function (on high, if available) to heat, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, poblano, and the 2 diced jalapeños, if using, and sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Stir in the broth, liquid smoke, if using, white hominy, oregano, chili powder, if using, seasoned salt, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne, if using. Stir well.
- Add the pork, bay leaves, and ancho chiles but do not stir. Just make sure the chiles are smoothed out with a mixing spoon on top of everything in the pot.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When done, allow a 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release (the pin may have dropped on its own at this point).
- Remove and reserve the ancho chiles, discard the bay leaves, and skim off any foam from the surface of the stew, if necessary.
- Transfer 2 cups of the broth from the pot to a blender or food processer and add the reserved ancho chiles, the 2 roughly chopped jalapeños, if using, roasted garlic, and kosher salt. Blend until puréed, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over the Instant Pot and pour in the pureed chile mixture. With a wooden spoon or spatula, firmly press the puree into the strainer, scraping it around so all the drippings drip into the pot. Do this for a good 1 to 2 minutes (really press all that puree through the strainer!) and then discard whatever was caught in the strainer.
- Add the diced green chiles, give everything a good stir, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and let everyone choose their favorite toppings.
Can I make this psole with chicken?Yes, you can! Substitute 3 pounds (1.36 kg) boneless, skinless thighs or breasts for the pork and follow the directions. The cook time is the same.
Originally published April 15, 2021
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This was my first time making pork pozole but this recipe will find its way back to my table. It cooks up in a short time using an Instant Pot and yielded savory and tender red chile pork soup. If you’re not an Instant Pot fan, you could try a Dutch oven braise or slow cooker method. The amounts could easily be halved for a small batch.
This pozole is easy to make—cut up some pork shoulder, chop up aromatic vegetables and peppers, add broth and cook. I used an 8-quart Instant Pot and that seems to be the right size as this makes a big batch. I chose to use the optional ingredients—chile powder and jalapenos—the result was nice warm heat but not too much. Remember to follow the step about straining the pureed chile mixture which catches bits and pieces of the ancho chile skins which might not have been pureed and are tough and stringy.
After adding the puree back into the pot, I tasted the mixture and added another teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 tbsp of brown sugar to balance out the flavor. Using a variety of the suggested cooling toppings added crunch and contrast to the soft texture of the pork and pozole. While it might not be traditional, the next day I served the Instant Pot pork pozole over creamy grits which added creaminess to each bite.
This dish packs an amazing punch, with the deep, rich flavors of the dried peppers perfectly matching the spices, onion, poblano, jalapenos, and perfectly tender pork, and the hominy adds a wonderful creaminess. It takes a while to come together but boy is it worth it. For us, it’s one of those dishes that’s hard to stop eating. I wanted to just keep filling my bowl over and over.
Nothing in the recipe was terribly complicated or challenging although my 6-qt Instant Pot was pretty full when everything was added. Four little ounces of dried peppers is a lot of dried peppers and they took up a lot of space. Being new to Instant Pot cooking, I was anxious, especially when it took a good 15 minutes for it to heat up and seal for the 35-minute pressure cook. When all was said and done, our dinner was about 30 minutes after I said it would be. Fortunately, the dish was so good that no one complained!
After cooking, taking those peppers out and blending them with some of the sauce was a smart move that really helped thicken the soup. I have to admit that once the aromas filled the kitchen, I didn’t let the pozole rest for 10 minutes after pouring the strained pepper blend back into the pot as per the directions.
We had some left over cotija cheese in the fridge and added that to our lineup of toppings and that was a hit. The recipe for Instant Pot pork pozole makes a lot so I’m thinking this would be a good one for a crowd…although it’s so good I want to eat it all myself!