Posole/Carnita recipes?

Bought a quantity of pork shoulder on sale. I’m going to use some to make “Renowned Mr. Brown” (smoked shoulder) on the BGE when the kids are in on Memorial day. Cinco de Mayo is Sunday so thought I would use some to make carnitas, posole or both this weekend. Searched previous thread and saw green chile recipe but wondered if you guys had any other recipes up your sleeves?


I like this recipe and have made it with great results

Thanks, Suzanne. Looks good. He really gets into the science of it! I need to get this website to my engineer sons.

Posole or Pozole? The former is a simple New Mexican stew made with pork or lamb or beef simmered in a red chile sauce with nixtamilized corn kernels (similar to hominy, but better). The later is a much more elaborate meal with lots of garnishes.

I want to use some garnishes but don’t know how many garnishes change posole to pozole.

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Sorry Bill, I don’t buy the fine distinction, I think they are just alternative spellings of the same word. Do you have a source for that?

The distinction is mainly a function of agricultural diversity. The climate here simply hasn’t supported the much wider range of produce available in Mexico, so posole and other dishes derived from Mexican cuisine have been, by necessity, simplified, often for the better. This may be a fine distinction, but for those who value the local traditions, it is not just about an alternative spelling.

I was mostly kidding about the garnishes. New Mexicans, in my experience, aren’t at all parochial about this (OTOH, ask a Texan about their strict rules for the ingredients permitted by statute in chilli). Posole really is just the common name here for the nixtamalized corn, usually bought dried or frozen. Just about anything else is fair game in terms of meat choice, type of chiles, etc., and, of course, garnishes. In my experience, when served in homes for an everyday meal, there are usually no garnishes.

In terms of sources, I would very strongly recommend a fabulous book that not only covers this subject and a great deal more fascinating history about the development of the unique cuisine in NM; it also has some of the best NM recipes you will find:

(disclaimer - the authors are my friends).

Many thanks.

Looks like a great book. I really enjoy NM cuisine but don’t have a book yet. I’ll have to order it.


I think you will really enjoy the book. Here’s the thing: as with other regional cuisines, there can be a large disparity between what is served in restaurants and what is prepared in homes for loved-ones by people who care deeply about their traditions.

When I first moved to this area, I was not impressed with the restaurant dishes, which simply seemed to be pale facsimiles of more vibrant Mexican versions, and smothered with fiery sauce to mask inferior preparation and ingredients. It was only when I started getting traditional homemade versions that I came to understand how special NM food can be. The Jamisons’ book is a great guide for preparing the real NM food.

A quick follow-up on the posole and garnishes. For me there is something magical about the simple blend of corn, chile, and meat (usually pork for me), eaten with wedge of fresh corn bread. Garnishes can easily interfere with the perfect balance of an exquisitely-cooked posole. That is why I prefer absolutely no garnish.

Thanks, Bill. Looks great. Does it come with a bushel of Hatch chiles? The one thing I miss most up here

Amazon has several books by your friends. Do you think the one you mentioned is the best? I discovered I have another of their books that I have used for years “Smoke and Spice”. I recommend it highly.

You can not go wrong with any Jamison book. Although their BBQ books are the most well-known, if I had to take only one to a desert island, it would be “American Home Cooking”.

“Hatch” has become more of a marketing tool for large-scale producers in the south of the state than a meaningful designation of quality. IMO the best chiles come from some of the smaller farms up here in Northern NM. Give me holler at the end of the summer and I’ll see if I can hook you up with some. Big drought in progress, so not sure about this year’s crop.

Thanks Bill, I ordered a copy. I have to think that there must be similarities to the cuisine of your neighbor to the west – I have really enjoyed The Elote Cafe Cookbook from Jeff Smedstead, a chef in Sedona AZ. But a lot of what he does appears to be classic “real” Mexican food with tweaks. The NM recipes look more like a true regional American cuisine.

Thanks! How is their Rancho Chimayo cookbook? Been there quite a few times, can’t remember if I have that book (will check when I get home tonight).

IMO, the latest one I linked to above is better written, has more and better recipes, etc.

Thanks for the offer, Bill. My addiction came from Sante Fe, in particular the fresh roasted chiles at the farmers’ market.

The food at The Elote Cafe in Sedona is fantastic-not like any other food in Arizona.
David you have a pretty good source of Mexican recipes in Chicago if I’m not mistaken. We use Rick Bayless recipe every year and my kids bust my chops if I leave anything out. Gives a little history on the ingredients as well.