30 by 30: Pozole (and Happy Cinco de Mayo!)

May 5, 2011 · 14 comments

in latin,mexican/tex-mex,pork,soups and stews

It’s only been in the past couple years that I’ve tried (and discovered I loved) hominy. It’s almost like a corn dumpling, if you will, and I think it’s a great addition to soups or casseroles.  I’ve only eaten pozole once, but I really loved it so I wanted to try my hand at making it at home, which is how it wound up on the 30 by 30 list.

Pozole is a pre-Columbian soup or stew from Mexico (thanks, Wikipedia!). It’s made with hominy and typically pork, but can be changed up several different ways. It’s a very substantial soup, flavorful and adorned with a multitude of toppings that are complementary both in taste and texture.

I found this soup to be very hearty and tasty overall, but was a bit underwhelmed with the broth flavor. It wasn’t quite rich or spicy enough for me. I’ve never cooked with New Mexico chiles before, so I’m not sure if they are just a very mild chile or if I  had a weak batch. They were very much a background flavor, and I would have liked to have them come through a little more.  Next time, I’ll use more chiles.  My broth also didn’t get have quite as much depth as I’d like, so I altered the recipe a bit below to swap out 2 cups of the water for 2 cups beef broth, which I think the soup would benefit from.  If this wasn’t a 30×30 post and I wasn’t under pressure to get all these done, I’d probably tweak it a bit before posting. :) Don’t get me wrong – as it stands, it’s a good pozole recipe (as referenced by the reviews), but I wanted a bit more oomph in mine.

Pozole Rojo

Adapted from Gourmet

1 large head garlic
10 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
4 pounds country-style pork ribs
2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
2 ounces dried New Mexico red chiles
1 .5 cups boiling-hot water
1/4 large white onion
2 tsp. salt
2 (30-ounce) cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
8 corn tortillas
cooking spray oil/canola oil

Accompaniments (we used diced white onion, avocado, green onion, and lime wedges)

Peel garlic cloves, reservinge 2 for chile sauce and slicing the remaining garlic.  In a 7- to 8-quart heavy pot/Dutch oven, bring water and broth just to a boil with sliced garlic and pork. Skim surface and add oregano. Gently simmer pork, uncovered, until tender, about 1.5 hours.

While pork is simmering, discard stems from chiles and in a bowl combine chiles with boiling-hot water. Soak chiles, turning them occasionally, 30 minutes. Cut onion into large pieces and in a blender purée with chiles and soaking liquid, reserved garlic, and 1.5 tsp. salt until smooth.

Transfer pork with tongs to a cutting board and reserve broth mixture. Shred pork, using 2 forks, and discard bones.  Return pork to broth mixture and add chile sauce, hominy, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Simmer pozole 30 minutes and, if necessary, season with salt. (Pozole may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.)

While pozole is simmering, preheat the oven to 425 and cut the tortillas into thin strips.  Brush or spray the strips with oil and then bake until crispy, about 8-10 minutes.

Serve pozole with tortilla strips and bowls of accompaniments.

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen May 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

I grew up in New Mexico… you may have just gotten a weak batch, because our chiles are generally pretty spicy. Give them another shot!

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Heidi @ Food Doodles May 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

That soup looks fantastic! I bet the extra broth would make a big difference in flavor. I actually really like hominy too, but I haven’t had it in so long. I think I even have some in the cupboard :D

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Gabby May 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hola :) me encanta el pozole, es uno de mis platos favoritos, te cuento que tu receta es un poco diferente a la mia, yo lo hago solo con carne / caldo de puerco y le agrego unas cuantas bolitas de pimienta dulce, le da un sabor riquisimo, pero definitivamente probare tu receta se ve muuuy rica :)

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Jen (the Domestic Diva) May 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm

What a beautiful photo! I also love hominy for all the reasons you mentioned. As for the chilis, I find they can vary in spiciness. You might try using fresh Hatch chilis or canned instead. They may have more flavor than dried. Thanks far sharing.

Jen

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foodies at home May 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I like a good rich stew as well…This looks great but I can see what you mean about it possibly being too thin…Really though, I would be lucky to have a big bowl of this right now! Happy Cinco De Mayo!

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kankana May 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

This looks so spicy and delicious. With all the chicken and beef broth I can imagine how flavorful it will be

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Joanne May 6, 2011 at 5:30 am

The last time I posted about hominy, people either seemed to really love it or absolutely detest it. I find myself safely in the love category! This pozole looks delicious, especially with your suggestions to ramp up the flavor!

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bellini May 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

It loos like I need to add this to my bucket list as well Elly!

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Kindra May 7, 2011 at 7:27 am

Elly, I awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award. Love your blog and your photos…makes me want to cook! http://gardenofeden-craftsfamily.blogspot.com/2011/05/versatile-blogger-award.html

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Christin May 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

This was so great! I live in the middle of no where and can’t get the dried chilies so I used New Mexico chile power. I was able to cut out the soaking step. I went by taste, and it was delish! Thanks for the fun idea.

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elly May 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Glad you liked it Christin. I bet it would be great with the ground chiles, too; I’ve made other soups with ancho chile powder and they are fantastic, and less work. :)

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lilly n ash December 4, 2011 at 1:32 am

Try Anaheim chilies and New Mexico dried chilies remove
stem only about 10 each boil for 1/2 hour then blend with
a tad of water then strain to remove seeds and skin then
return to rinsed blender w/onion and garlic then add to broth

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Jan McCartney August 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

I made a Posole for the first time recently, but made it with a pork shoulder with bone in and it gave it more flavor. I would add some broth next time for the same reasons you did. Just a note, make sure you remove all the seeds out of the soaked chiles before blending because they are bitter. I also saw a chef on tv that said you should always cook the chile mixture for a few minutes after you puree it to help get rid of the bitterness then add to the soup. I also added cilantro as a topping. I agree your photo is beautiful.

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Gina January 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I have found that roasting your meat at 400F for about 45 minutes before putting in soups does wonders to bring out the flavor. It adds depth without much work. I coat with a little oil prior to roasting.

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