Lamb Posole: A Rich Mexican Stew

Lamb posole is a rich, comforting Mexican stew the whole family will love. Traditionally it’s made with a pig head, but lamb and goat heads might make an even better version that’s easier to make. It’s a comforting bowl of stew with hominy, avocado, and meltingly tender pieces of lamb in a delicious guajillo chile broth.

Posole made from goat or lamb head
Serve the stew with radishes, avocado, cilantro and garnishes and let guests build their perfect bowl.

The best meat soups and broths are made not from only bones, or only meat, but a combination of the two. Typical bones, even roasted for hours on low heat will still give a pallid stock that’s rich with gelatin, but lacking in flavor. A stock made from bones and meat is the best of both worlds, and lamb heads have that in spades, especially if you take the time to simmer them nice and slow overnight. If you don’t have a lamb or goat head, you can use shanks, or stew meat and chicken stock, in a pinch.

Posole made from goat or lamb head
You’ll need a large soup pot to accommodate the head.

The best part is serving the posole. After it’s finished cooking posole is traditonally served with different garnishes so each guest can build up their bowl with different ingredients. Radishes, chopped cilantro and diced onion are always on the table. Avocado is a nice finishing touch too.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo





This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

More Mexican Lamb Recipes

Lamb Tongue Tacos 

Goat Birria Tacos

Goat Barbacoa

Posole made from goat or lamb head
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5 from 1 vote

Lamb Posole: A Rich Mexican Stew

Traditional Mexican stew made with hominy and the rich broth from a lamb or goat head. Makes about 3 quarts.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Goat head, Lamb head, Soup
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 210kcal
Cost: 10


  • 1 large stock pot



  • 1.5 cup (8 oz) dried Mexican white hominy
  • 1 lamb or goat head preferably with the tongue *see note
  • 1 lb lamb or goat stew meat *See note
  • 1 large yellow onion diced ¼ inch, about 3 cups
  • 3 large cloves fresh garlic minced, about 1 tablespoon
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil or lard
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 oz dried guajillo chilis
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano


  • Fresh chopped cilantro to taste
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Fresh lime wedges or a dash of lime juice
  • Sliced radishes
  • Diced avocado
  • Crumbled queso fresco cheese


  • Season the head or shanks lightly with salt and pepper and roast in a 350 F oven for 45 minutes.
  • In a stock pot large or wide enough to fit the head, sweat the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the head, hominy, stew meat, bay leaves, dried oregano, water, cover and bring the mixture to a low simmer, then cover and cook for 3-4 hours.
  • The head will not be completely covered with water, so you’ll need to turn it occasionally to ensure even cooking.*
  • Put the guajillo chilis in a blender or food processor with 1.5 cups hot stock from the posole, and puree until smooth, then add back to the pot.
  • When the meat is tender and the hominy has started to pop, remove the head and cool on a cutting board. Using gloves, remove the meat from the head when cool, including the tongue, and chop coarsely, peeling the tongue beforehand.
  • Add the chopped meat back to the soup, season to taste with salt, then serve, garnished with lime, avocado, cilantro and radishes.


*You can make this with any slow cooking cut of meat. If you don't have a head, 3 lbs of lamb shanks can be substituted for the stew meat and head. 
*Cooking in a crock pot, depending on the size, would be great too, and could require less liquid to cover the head as the shape of the cooking vessel is similar to the head. Meanwhile, toast the chilis in a cast iron skillet in the oven at 300 for 15 minutes, then cool, break open, and discard the seeds.


Serving: 16oz | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 3mg