Recipe: Hearty New Mexican Posole With Lamb Shoulder
If you’re a local or have ever been to visit New Mexico, you’ve probably had the pleasure of eating posole before. This is a New Mexican classic, but posole actually has roots going as far back as the Aztecs. It’s a traditional Mexican soup that is often served for special occasions, holidays and celebrations.
You’ll also find it on the menu at almost any restaurant serving New Mexican food. It’s somewhere between a soup and a stew, full of substance yet brothy. You can serve it with the liquid in the bowls or drain it out and use the broth for other cooking. It’s easy to try this dish that’s as rich in history as it is in flavor when you order meat online from Beck & Bulow.
Posole is considered a quintessential part of Santa Fe culture and even said to be a hangover cure. Perhaps this is due to tequila being such a large part of the culture here, too. We think this claim is especially true if it’s made with quality meat. But the origins of this dish go back to ancient times, before Europeans ever made it to the Americas.
The Aztecs ate this dish using various meats. Historical texts include gruesome references to Aztec human sacrifices. It’s said that a special ceremonial posole made from these sacrifices was served only to royalty and priests. It was said that this ceremonial preparation would produce direct connection with the gods, and represented the duality of life.
Nowadays, you’ll be relieved to know that traditional posole is made with pork. Chicken is another common ingredient. We’ve really enjoyed putting our own spin on it and using lamb shoulder roasts for this recipe. In case you were wondering, shoulder and leg of lamb are the same cut. The flavor and tenderness of lamb meat pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the posole.
Our lamb is raised in New Zealand by the native Maori people. They graze year round in a pristine valley of Mount Ruapehu. We choose to source our lamb from here because New Zealand’s unique climate allows some of the most sustainable farming practices for lamb on the planet. Lamb is also really nutrient dense and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
- About half of a lamb shoulder roast (1½ - 2lbs)
- 6 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 pound dried hominy - must be soaked overnight (you can buy this at a Latino grocery store). Note that canned hominy will not yield the same texture
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Lime wedges and oregano for garnish
- You must soak the dried hominy in cold water overnight, so make sure to prepare this ingredient in advance.
- When ready to prepare the following day, drain the hominy and place in a large pot on the stove. Add enough water to cover the hominy, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the red chiles. Toast them in a pan on the stove until they become fragrant. You may want to wear kitchen gloves to avoid getting the chile oil on your hands for the next step.
- Slit the chiles longways down the middle so that you can remove the seeds and stems inside. If you don’t have gloves to wear for this part, you will want to be very mindful of the chile oil on your hands. Scrub thoroughly and don’t touch your face afterwards.
- Simmer the chiles, covered in water, for about 30 minutes. Let cool and then purée in a blender, adding water as needed until a good paste consistency is formed. Set the paste aside to use later.
- Slice the lamb shoulder roast into 2 inch chunks. Generously season with salt and pepper. We provide meat from the best online butcher shop for convenient delivery.
- Once the hominy has been cooking for an hour, add the meat to the pot, along with the bay leaf, garlic, cumin and chopped onion. Add more water. Continue to simmer, adding more water as needed, for about 2 ½ hours. The hominy should be soft and the lamb tender.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with lime wedges and oregano. Enjoy your delicious posole.
All of our meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering. All orders are packed by hand in our Santa Fe warehouse and shipped directly to your doorstep in reusable coolers with dry ice. Your meat will arrive at your home ready to store or enjoy.