Get ready, it’s about to get real authentic in here. Pozole, pronounced poh-SO-leh, is a Mexican soup traditionally made with hominy and tender shreds of pork. It’s delicious, inexpensive to make and is one of my go-to recipes for feeding a large family gathering.
Note: Using dry hominy brings the price down even more, but it’s a process. The hominy must be soaked overnight and the little nubs where the grain attached to the cob must be removed. If you choose to go this route, this recipe will need approximately 1-1 1/2 lbs dry hominy, also sold as giant white corn, maiz mote pelado or maiz pozolero pelado. I get good results with Goya brand sold in bags.
3 lbs pork shoulder, cut into chunks
2 pork shanks, split if possible
2 29 oz cans of Mexican style hominy/ maiz pozolero (I use La Preferida or La Costeña)
1 head of garlic, whole, loose skin removed
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and split lengthwise. Trim the root of any dirt but leave it on. It keeps the onion from falling apart in the soup making it easier to remove later.
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 medium bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt or chicken bouillon + more to taste
- Rinse the pork well and place in a large stock pot
- Add water to cover
- Add the salt or chicken bouillon
- Boil 30 minutes over medium high heat, skimming the foam as it surfaces
- Add the onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 1 hour
- Add the oregano, pepper, bay leaves and cumin, cover and cook another 1 1/2 hours
- After 3 total hours cooking the meat should be falling apart, if it’s not, cover and continue cooking until tender, remove the pork from the broth and place in a bowl to cool
- Add the 2 cans of hominy to the broth and cook 30-45 minutes or until it puffs up. Stirring occasionally. Different brands have different cook times. Be sure to check the pot regularly to avoid overcooking and disintegration.
- Once the pork is cool enough to handle, break it into bite size shreds removing bones, skin and excess fat.
- Once the hominy has bloomed, stir in the pork
- Salt to taste
Top with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced radish, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, diced onion and a squeeze of lime. Accompany with tostadas or warm corn tortillas.
Want more? How about Pozole Rojo? Maybe Pozole Verde? You can add a few ingredients to transform the above recipe in either direction so you can pick your poison.
Pour this sauce into your Pozole Blanco when you add the above mentioned seasonings and continue the rest of the recipe as above.
4 Guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
2 Ancho chiles seeded and deveined
Optional: 2-3 whole Arbol chiles to add heat
2 cups water
- In a pan over medium heat, carefully toast the chiles in small batches until they blister and darken slightly on all sides. Caution: step away from the stove and they’ll burn. It’s happened to me on more than one occasion. If this happens, start over. They pick up a strong bitter taste even when only slightly burnt.
- Add all of the chiles back to the pan and add the water
- Simmer covered over medium low heat 15-20 minutes or until the chiles are softened
- Blend until smooth
- Strain into the Pozole broth, stir to combine, salt to taste and there you have it.
Again, the sauce goes in at the same time as the seasonings and continue the rest of the process from there.
1 1/2 cups unsalted, shelled pepitas or green pumpkin seeds
2 Poblano peppers
4-5 Tomatillos, peeled and washed
2 Jalapeño peppers
1 cup spinach
1 cup cilantro
Recommended: 1/2 cup fresh epazote leaves
- In a dry pan over medium heat toast the pepitas until lightly browned, stirring often. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Roast the poblanos, blackening them on all sides either in the same pan on high heat or under the broiler.
- Once blackened, place the poblanos in a plastic bag or an airtight container to sweat.
- Place the Jalapeños and tomatillos in a pot with enough water to cover, bring to a boil and shut off the heat.
- When the poblanos are cool enough to handle, remove the stem, seeds and skin and place them in a blender.
- Add the partially cooked tomatillos, jalapeños, spinach and herbs, along with a little of the Pozole broth and blend well.
- Strain into your Pozole pot, stir, and you’ve got green Pozole.
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