I called the Professor’s mom a few weeks back to get her pozole recipe. I thought it might be fun to share it with all of you, especially during the holiday season when so many people in Mexico and elsewhere eat this traditional pork and hominy stew. Turns out she makes green pozole not red pozole which I knew because I wrote about it on this very blog and have had this very same conversation with her before (she for sure, by now, thinks I’m nuts).
“So what’s the red stew you make?” I asked her, convinced I had tasted a red pozole at her house before. “Menudo.” She said, then gave me the recipe for that one. But I will probably never share that with you because tripe is not easily obtained in these parts, not to mention my innards appreciation is lamentable. I’ve tried, I really have but, no.
Not to be deterred I asked her for some tips on making red pozole to which she pretty much confirmed its existence but said that’s not what she makes. Sent out into the world with nothing I pulled together inspiration from a few of my favorite Mexican cooking sources: Diana Kennedy, Pati Jinich, and Margarita Carilla Arronte. I think what results is a pozole that will not disappoint and is in lock-step with the red version of this Mexican classic: spicy, oregano-infused broth, tender strips of pork, and lots of chewy hominy. Top with all the essential garnishes and you’ll be set.
- 4 pounds pork shoulder
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 dried pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 2 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 (14.5 ounce) cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
- dried oregano
- minced onion
- lime wedges
- minced radishes
- chopped cilantro
- cubed avocado
- thinly sliced cabbage
- tortilla chips
- Combine pork, sliced onion, 6 garlic cloves, salt and oregano in a large soup pot. Cover with water by 2-inches and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Skim off any foam, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook until pork is very tender, about 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, place chiles in a dry cast iron frying pan or comal and toast on all sides until darker in color and fragrant. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Drain chiles (saving the water) and place in a blender. Add chopped onion, garlic, cumin, cloves, and salt, and about ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Blend on high until smooth (you may need to add more soaking liquid to get the blender moving).
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Carefully pour the chile sauce into the hot oil (it will splatter) and stir until sauce is fragrant and fried, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once pork is tender and easily pulls away with a fork, remove it from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain broth, discard the solids and wash out the pot. Return broth to the pot, you should have about 10 cups. Add more water if needed.
- Return broth to a simmer. Once pork is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces, removing any gristle or fat. Return shredded pork to the pot with the broth. Add chile sauce and hominy and bring to a simmer. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve with as many of the garnishes as you'd like.
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