Paleo Posole

Posole is an ancient traditional pre-Columbian soup or stew from Mexico often found in the regions of Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, México and the Distrito Federal.  It is traditionally made with pork or chicken and always includes hominy or maize, a large corn type grain.  As the hominy cooks in the stew it begins to thicken the sauce.  But, since  corn products are a Paleo no-no, a substitution for hominy is necessary.  A perfect substitute for this corn product is acorn or butternut squash.  As the squash cooks in the stew, it begins to break down and thicken the sauce.  This hearty dish is full flavored, and if spiciness or eat is a concern, be sure to reduce the amount of spice and pepper that you add.  To further enhance and concentrate the flavors, be sure to make this dish at least 24 hours in advance of when you want to serve it.


Paleo Posole with Braised Pork Shoulder, Cumin and Squash


  • 2.5 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder – tied
  • 4 TBS. Olive Oil
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Yellow Onions – Chopped
  • 8 ea. Garlic Cloves – Crushed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ea. Jalapeno pepper – chopped. NOTE: for milder flavor, carefully remove seeds and veins
  • 4 cups Acorn or Butternut Squash – Peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 bunch Fresh Cilantro – leaves removed from stems

PROCEDURE: In large Stock pot heat 1/2 of oil on medium high heat.  Sear pork shoulder on all sides for aprox 5-7 minutes.  Remove pork to platter and add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes to stock pot and saute for 5 minutes until browned.  Increase heat to medium high and add 1 cup of water to deglaze bottom of stock pot.  While bubbling, use a metal spoon or whisk to scrape browned bits from bottom of pot.  When loosened, add remainder of water and pork to stock pot.  Bring water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Braise pork on top of stove for one hour, turning meat over in the broth every 15 minutes or so.  Near end of the hour, heat remainder of oil in large non stick skillet and saute the squash and jalapeno pieces for 5 minutes.  Add the sauteed squash and jalapenos pieces to the stock pot.  Bring stock pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer contents for 1 hour turning the meat over in broth every 15-20 minutes.  After 1 hour, remove tied pork shoulder, cut it into 1″ cubes and add it back to the pot.  Stir in 6 TBS. (1 large handful) of Cilantro leaves.  Serve each bowl garnished with additional cilantro leaves.

NUTRITION INFO: (Per Serving) Calories 427, Total Fat 20.8g, Sat Fat 5.7g, Cholest. 120.4mg, Sodium 87.6mg, Carb. 15.5g, Fiber 2.9g, Sugars 4.1g, Protein 43.5g


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  • this sounds great but not a big fan of squash. Do you think sweet potatoes would be a good substitute?

    • Hi Mandy – sorry to reply so late. I like the flavor combo idea you suggest with sweet potato, but have never tried to make a stew with them. It never hurts to try and see! When I’ve made traditional stews, like everyone, I used potatoes, which if overcooked, would completely break down and weren’t my favorite. Sweet potatoes behave a little differently than traditional potatoes though… sometimes they break down even easier than regular potatoes. In defense of squash, once it is cooked down in this dish, it doesn’t have the same mouth feel or consistency as it would if you were preparing it plain or roasting it – you don’t say why you’re not a fan, so that is a stab at it. Try it both ways and see which you like better, and let me know if you do the sweet potatoes! I will also jot a note to myself to try it with them next time I make it. Thanks!

  • I am VERY new to cooking meat. So this will probably be a dumb question. At the beginning, when searing, is it 5-7 mins per side or total time? Thanks!

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