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Updated: Jan 31

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This easy and delicious Slow Cooker Venison Pozole is the ultimate comfort food. When thinking of authentic pozole, more than likely the thought of succulent fatty pork comes to mind. But in this recipe, I opt for using cuts of venison that yield tender results from cooking low and slow. As far as which cuts to use; necks, shoulders, shanks, and rib meat work well here.

Slow Cooker Venison Pozole Rojo

The only real thought that needs to go into this recipe is figuring out which corn you will use. The three best options are to either use Mexican-style canned hominy, dried American South Western pozole corn or try and pick up some nixtamal (half-cooked hominy) from a local tortilla factory if you have one nearby. Finding dried correct chilis these days is much easier than in the past. My two favorite varieties to use here are either dried ancho chilis or dried guajillo chilis.

Cooks Tips:

  • Extra Stock: Pozole is prone to soaking up extra liquid due to the hominy. Keep a little extra venison or chicken stock on hand as needed for cooking or to spruce up leftovers.

  • Using Dried Pozole Corn? If you're using this dried version, work ahead and cook ahead of time. This can take up to 5 hours lightly simmered with the lid on.

  • Chili Sensitive? If you're unable to tolerate this chili-forward venison stew, you can try leaving some of the chilies out and adding a little achiote paste for that rich red color that everyone is after with Pozole Rojo. It will alter the flavor a little, but it's honestly a great addition.

  • How to Store Leftover Pozole? This is one of those dishes that gets better with time. The flavors greatly enhance when stored in the refrigerator covered tightly with a lid for a day or two.

  • Can you freeze leftovers? Absolutely! Just make sure not to overfill the containers and put them in the refrigerator a day or two before serving so that they can thaw in time. When stored securely, it will be good in the freezer for a couple of months.

  • How long does pozole take to cook? The cooking vessel and cut of meat that you are using will dictate the length of the cook. I used a crockpot on the low setting and my protein of choice was venison rib and neck meat. This took around 10 hours to complete the cook. If you use the high setting on a crockpot or something like an instant pot on the pressure cook setting, that will speed things up immensely.

  • What to serve this with? I like to use crispy corn tostadas or tortilla chips for some crunch. For color and extra flavor, I garnish with radishes, lime, cilantro, onion, hot sauce and thinly sliced cabbage.

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: Around 9 to 12 hours on low setting
Slow Cooker Size: 6+ Quarts

Cooking Ingredients

  • 5 dried ancho chilis or 8 dried guajillo chilis (stemmed and seeded)

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 4 venison shanks (or around 2 pounds of boneless stew meat)

  • 1 large white onion, small dice

  • 4 carrots, large dice

  • 6 celery stalks, large dice

  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican Oregano

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 5 cups canned hominy (drained) or 4 cups dried hominy (pre-cooked)

  • 3 quarts venison or chicken stock

  • salt to taste

Optional Ingredients for Serving

  • lime

  • chopped cabbage or lettuce

  • tostadas or tortilla chips

  • cilantro

  • radishes

  • avocado

  • rice

  • hot sauce

Pozole Rojo Ingredients


  1. Rehydrate the chilis. Bring enough water to cover the chilis to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave. Place the chilis in a bowl and pour the water over the chilis. Place another small plate on top of the chilis to keep them submerged. Cover the entire bowl with another larger plate or plastic wrap. Let them hydrate for 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat the slow cooker. While the chilis are hydrating, pre-heat. your slow cooker for 20 minutes.

  3. Add the rehydrated chilis to a blender or food processor. Pour in enough of the warm water to make a thin paste and puree the chilis. Set them in the refrigerator for later.

  4. Place the venison in the slow cooker, followed by the remaining ingredients, minus the hominy and chili puree.

  5. Cover the cooker and cook on the low setting until the meat is fork-tender. This can take around 10 hours with venison depending on which cut of meat you are using.

  6. Around 1 to 2 hours before serving, pour the chili puree and hominy in with the rest of the ingredients and let cook for 1 more hour. If you're in a time crunch and need to cook everything at once, you can add these in with the other ingredients in step 4.

  7. Serving: Serve this up with any of the listed ingredients above. This recipe is great for serving directly from the slow cooker while it's being kept warm.

Lastly, if you make this Slow Cooker Venison Pozole Rojo, be sure to leave a comment or tag me on Instagram! I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.

Meet Larry White
Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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