You will essentially be preparing this recipe in three stages: pork, chile and posole. These are then combined into the final posole.
For the pork: Place the pork shoulder in a pot and cover with water. Add the salt, bay leaf and onion. Bring to a boil, and then cook over medium heat until tender and falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hrs.
Remove the meat from the broth and let cool; reserve the broth for later. Pull the meat from the bones and cut into bite-size pieces.
For the chile: Put the chile pods in about 2 cups of the hot broth (enough to allow the pods to puree easily in a blender) and let soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
Put the broth, pods and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. (Do not fill the blender more than halfway with liquid.) Add salt to taste and set aside.
For the posole: Drain and rinse the posole. Put the posole in a cooking pot and cover with water; use about 2 parts water to 1 part posole. Add the onion and salt. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer until the posole has started to "bloom", 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The posole will swell and start to resemble popcorn, but will still be chewy. At this point, add the pork, chile and any remaining broth into the posole and let it finish cooking. The key to a successful posole is watching for it to finish blooming. Posole is fully cooked when it has opened completely, and is tender when chewed. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve in a bowl and place the garnishes on the table so that each person fixes their own.
*The more pods, the more intense the flavor and heat.
**Canned hominy may be substituted if dried or frozen are not available; add it in the last 15 minutes of cooking to preserve texture.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.