Pozole, also called posole, is a traditional Mexican soup that is typically eaten on the night of Christmas and on Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the year in many regions of the nation. Pozole can also be spelled posole.
A Guide to Making and Serving Pozole
Pozole Rojo, sometimes known as “red” pozole, is prepared using pork shoulder or shanks, dried red chiles, and a substantial amount of hominy corn.
My mother and father really enjoyed this dish that I prepared for them. Pozole was a dish that my mother told me she hadn’t had since she was a child living in Tucson. Tonight there are a lot of happy expressions on everyone’s faces around the table.
In most cases, only the basic soup with pig and hominy is provided, and the additional ingredients and garnishes are brought to the table so that each person can choose what they would like to include in their bowl of soup.
Pozole: How It Should Be Served
Because you are going to top the soup off fast with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, chopped avocados, cilantro, onions, and wedges of lime, the soup itself should be on the watery or brothy side.
To increase the level of heat, extra hot sauce or chilies can be used. When it comes to pozole, the garnishes are everything. So good!
When and how to refrigerate or freeze Pozole
This recipe is perfect for feeding a large group of people and still having lots of food left over! The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately one week or frozen for up to three months, whichever comes first.
When you want to freeze the pozole, transfer it to freezer-safe containers or bags that have as little air in them as you can get away with to avoid freezer burn. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight, then bring it up to temperature on the stovetop over low heat.
- 4 ounces of dried guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, or a combination of both guajillo and ancho chiles
- 1 large can of white hominy, which has been drained and rinsed (108 ounces, 6 pounds 12 ounces, or 3 kilograms),
- 3 pounds of pork shoulder, preferably with the bone in and cut into 1 to 1-1/2 inch cubes (you may also use pig shanks), using a cut of pork that is well marbled with fat.
- 8 cloves of garlic, of which 4 cloves are roughly minced and the remaining 4 cloves are left whole.
- 3 bay leaves in total
- 1 teaspoon of cumin that has been ground
- 2 teaspoons of oregano in its dry form (Mexican oregano if available)
Toppings (which can be prepared while the Pozole is in the oven):
- 1/2 of a small cabbage, sliced very thinly.
- 1 bunch of chopped cilantro, cilantro
- half of an onion, white, chopped
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 4 limes, quartered
- 1 bunch of radishes, red in color, sliced very thinly.
- anything between 12 and 24 tostada shells (see Recipe Note)
How to make Pozole: Recipe
1. Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil:
Put 5 quarts of water in a large stockpot that holds 10 to 12 quarts. Place on the stove and bring to a boil while you do the next steps.
2. Heat the chiles and pour 3 cups of hot water over them.
Take out the chili pods’ stems, seeds, and large veins and throw them away. Heat the chilli pods in a cast iron pan on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, until they start to soften. Don’t let them catch fire.
While the chilies are heating, bring 3 cups of water to a simmer in a medium pot and turn off the heat. When the chiles are soft, put them in the hot water and cover the pot.
Let the chiles soak for 15 to 20 minutes in the hot water.
3. Brown the pork, then add the garlic:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Use paper towels to dry the pork pieces. Sprinkle them with a lot of salt.
Brown the meat on all sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan or stir it too much.
Just before the meat is done browning, add four roughly chopped garlic cloves to the pan with the meat and let them cook together for about a minute.
4. Put pork and spices in a large pot of boiling water:
Once the meat has browned, move it to the large stockpot of boiling water. Any browned bits at the bottom of the pan and any garlic should also be scraped up and added to the pot. Put in the washed hominy.
Bay leaves, cumin, and oregano can be added. When you put the oregano in, mush your hands together so that the oregano breaks up more as it goes in. Put in one tablespoon of salt. Bring to a slow boil, then turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes.
5. Preparing the red sauce:
by blending the chilies, about 2 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, a teaspoon of salt, and 4 cloves of garlic in a blender. (To keep the blender from making too much pressure, it’s probably best to start with the chiles, garlic, and only a cup of the liquid in the blender, and then add the rest of the liquid.)
Run the red sauce through a sieve to get rid of the tough bits.
6. Mix red chilli sauce with the pork and hominy in the pot:
Put in a few more teaspoons of salt. Bring back to a simmer, then turn down the heat to just enough to keep the simmer going with the lid partially on.
7. Cook the pork for 2 to 3 hours, or until it is very soft:
Get rid of the extra fat. Check for seasoning and add more salt until it tastes right (you will likely need more than you expect, perhaps a tablespoon or more.)
Since you will be adding a lot of toppings, the soup should have a lot of broth. If you need to, add more water.
8. Put together garnishes:
When it’s time to serve the pozole, you can get the toppings ready (slice the cabbage, chop the cilantro, etc.)
To serve, put the toppings in bowls and pour the pozole soup into the bowls. Let your guests decide for themselves what to put on top of their pozole.
If you can’t find tostada shells, serve with tortilla chips instead.