Main Dish

Fall Squash Pozole

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves

9711 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2013
  • RECIPE BY: Bruce Frieseke
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Bella Belle Canyon Zinfandel

This recipe is a Sonoma County take on a traditional Mexican comfort-food dish. The slight spiciness and varied texture of this hominy-driven stew make it a perfect companion with Bella Zinfandel. The flavors of fall and a nod to California's past are incorporated in this seasonal pairing. It’s best to marinate the pork in the spices 1 day in advance.

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Canola oil as needed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (8 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 1 can (8 ounces) Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Mexican-style white hominy (liquid reserved)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped


In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, fennel, mustard, powdered garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, paprika, salt and black pepper. Place the pork in a large bowl, sprinkle with the spice mixture and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

Heat a large, heavy stockpot over high heat. Coat the bottom with 1/8 inch of canola oil. Add enough of the pork to cover the bottom of the pot in a single layer. Sear the meat on all sides, adjusting the heat and working quickly to make sure that the pan does not blacken. Transfer the pork to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining pork, working in batches as needed. 

Immediately add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, chiles and Rotel and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates halfway. Add the pork and the hominy with its liquid. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. Taste the stew occasionally and add salt or a little cayenne pepper, if desired.

Once the pork is cooked to perfection, add the butternut squash and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes more. This stew, like most, is best served the day after it is made. When ready to serve, bring the pozole to a simmer and stir in the parsley and sage.  

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves

9711 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448