Red Pozole

Red PozoleSummer Soup Supper
When the weather starts to get warm, the last thing people think about for dinner is a bowl of soup. I mean who wants soup when it’s 90 degrees outside, right? And I agree for the most part. But, there is at least once exception to that rule. At least in my mind…

There are few dishes that are as quintessentially Mexican than a bowl of pozole. It’s a hearty, filling bowl of pork or chicken with hominy and the flavors of chili and lime. Pozole is everything you could want when you just have to have the flavors of Mexico. And, it is just as appropriate in winter when you need to something flavorful and filling to warm you up as it is in the warmer months outside on the patio for a relaxing dinner with a margarita. Just grab some from the fridge, give it a gentle warm up and enjoy a great meal al fresco with some fresh radishes from your garden—if you are lucky enough to have them.

Obviously, this is a make-ahead weeknight dinner as it takes more time to put together than we usually have on a Wednesday night. But, if you make this your Sunday project, all you need to do is prep the garnishes to add to your bowl for a fast and satisfying dinner. Any leftovers can be put in the freezer for another night.

Red Pozole Recipe
Adapted from the Mexican Food Journal
Yields 12 servings

This recipe yields an ample 12 servings—plenty to enjoy for dinner with leftovers for future meals. Pozole makes a rich and satisfying dish with your choice of meat in a mildly-spicy chile broth. Fresh garnishes complete the dish.

For the meat and broth
3 pounds boneless pork leg, pork shoulder, or boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 head of garlic
3 bay leaves
1/2 white onion
1 pinch of cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the chile base
5 ancho chiles
5 guajillo chiles
3 arból chiles (optional for a spicier broth)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 white onion
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the hominy
2 25-ounce cans of hominy (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the garnishes
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
1 large white onion diced
6 radishes sliced into half moons
6 limes quartered
4 tablespoons Mexican oregano
6 arból chiles finely chopped
Salt as needed

Cook the meat and broth
Place the meat, the head of garlic, a few bay leaves, and half an onion in a large pot and just cover with water (about 6 cups). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. The meat is done when you can easily pull it apart with your fingers. If it doesn’t pull apart easily after 45 minutes, cook for another 15 minutes.

When the meat is cooked, remove it from the cooking liquid and set it aside. Strain the broth into a bowl and set that aside, too. Discard the bay leaves, garlic, and onion. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers into 1-inch long pieces.

Make the chile base
While the meat is boiling, make the chile base.

Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles and discard them. Place the chiles, the clove of garlic, and 1/2 of the white onion in a pot and just cover with water (about 3 cups).

Bring the liquid to a boil and then turn off the heat. Allow the chiles to rest for 15 minutes to reconstitute them. The chiles will expand and become pliable from absorbing the water. Add the chiles, onion, garlic, oregano, and soaking liquid to your blender. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Strain the blended chile base and discard the chile pulp that remains.

In a pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat and pour in the chile base. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until the base has thickened and darkened in color.

Prepare the hominy
While the chile base is reducing, cook the hominy. Drain the canned hominy and rinse it. Put the rinsed hominy in a large pot and cover with 2″ of water. Simmer while you are preparing the pork and chile base.

Assemble the pozole
Pour the prepared chile base into the hominy. Then add the pork broth and shredded pork along with 2 teaspoons of sea salt.

Bring the pozole to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the salt to taste by adding 1/2 a teaspoon at a time. Then stir well, taste, and repeat until the desired flavor is reached.

Prepare the garnishes
While the pozole is simmering, prep the garnishes. Shred the cabbage, dice the onion, slice the radish into half-moons, quarter the limes, and finely chop the arból chile. Place each garnish into individual serving bowls.

Serve the pozole
Ladle the pozole into individual bowls to serve, and each person garnishes their pozole as desired.



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