I first tried Posole, a Mexican Pork and Hominy Soup, in Mexico City. It said Pork Stew in the translation, but when the bowl arrived there were all manner of mystery items floating around in the bright red soup - some of them animal, some of them not. It was most definitely one of those "What have I ordered?" moments. To make matters more distressing, there was a deafening Mariachi Band playing as the food arrived! I was in for the full Mexican experience!
I poked and prodded around the bowl, identifying possible animal parts, obviously with a look of terror on my face, some locals looked on, clearly amused at the large white man who didn't know what he'd ordered. The Mariachi became even more frantic.
What is hominy?
They needn't have scoffed - the soup was amazing and I ate every scrap! Alongside the mystery parts, floating in the soup, were large white corn kernels, I subsequently discovered these were hominy - corn that's been soaked in lime water (the mineral not the citrus). It swells up and the skins removed. It was my first encounter and I loved them - they give a unique corn flavour, unlike anything I'd tasted before. They taste just like corn tortillas.
Since that first experience, I've eaten the soup many times more and consequently never had the same version twice. Mostly, there's some kind of offal or tripe, but always pork and hominy. It's been spicy, mild sweet and sour but differences aside it's always rich and interesting.
Posole green, white and red - a taste of Mexico.
Incidentally roja in Spanish means red, no surprises where this gets its name! It's one of the the trinity of traditional posole soups served in Mexico. The others being blanco (white) and verde (green). To\gether they make up the three colours of the Mexican flag and consequently bring together a myriad of wonderful Mexican flavours. Get the recipe for Posole Verde here, Posole Blanco coming soon!
My recipe for posole rojo is simple. It's a cheats version if truth be told, but the flavours are every bit as delicious! Of the three varieties, it's the most fiery and has a decent chilli hit. It's bursting with authentic Mexican flair and looks rather splendid too I think you'll agree. Enjoy!