Posole (or pozole) is a traditional soup in Mexico, often served on Christmas eve. It’s somewhat of a feast, posole. You could make smaller batches, but since you have to cook it for several hours, it just makes sense to make a large amount, and then have lots of friends over with whom to enjoy it. It freezes very well so one could also freeze in smaller batches. N.B. It is vital that one adds the fresh garnish ingredients before serving.


  • 1kg pork shoulder

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 T cumin powder

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 T oil

  • 12 t black pepper

  • 12 t cayenne

  • 2 t  chilli powder

  • 1 T salt

  • 14 t oregano

  • 4 cups dried white samp, soaked in boiling water and drained

  • 3-5 cups pork broth, from cooking pork shoulder

  • 1 cup diced green chillies (optional)

  • 2 whole fresh jalapeños, chopped (optional)

  • 3 whole Serrano chillies, seeded and stemmed (garnish) (optional)

  1. Chop the onion, peel the garlic keep 2 cloves whole and mince the other 2. Chop the green chillies and jalapeños if you are using them and get the samp drained and rinsed.

  2. Boil the Serrano chillies in a separate small pot for the garnish.

  3. Place the pork shoulder in a separate large saucepan and just cover with  water. (lightly salt)

  4. Add 1/2 the chopped onion, the 2 cloves peeled whole garlic, pepper, cumin, and oregano.

  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skim off any foam that rises, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

  6. Remove meat and reserve the broth.

  7. Saute the remaining chopped onion and garlic in a separate pan in oil until translucent.

  8. Add the remaining spices and salt, stir for a minute.

  9. Cut the reserved pork into 1cm cubes and add to the pan.

  10. Stir in the drained samp, pork broth (if there is not enough pork broth, top up with chicken stock), green chillies and jalapeños.

  11. Cook at a simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes until the meat and samp is tender.

  12. If necessary, cook for up to an additional 60 minutes until the chillies and onions are well blended into the broth.

  13. Taste for seasoning, and serve in soup bowls.

  14. Garnishes that are always served with are:.

    • lots of lime/lemon wedges.

    • sliced radishes.

    • chopped coriander.

    • Shredded cabbage.

    • Fresh/ packaged fried corn tortillas.

When the Serrano chillies are soft from boiling (takes about 15 minutes), put them in the blender with 1 and 1/2 cups of water, 1 clove of garlic, ±2 T diced onion and 1 T of salt and pepper. Blend this thin, then strain it to get the liquid separated from its “pulp”. Throw the pulp into the soup for the extra flavour. (This does add heat to the soup.) The remaining liquid you put in a serving dish for guests to add in their own bowl, if desired. Beware! It’s HOT!

Servings 10