International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Pozole

Bowl of pozole blanco

(Mexican pork and hominy stew)

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Pozole is a special occasion dish in Mexico, especially in Guerrero State. Restaurants called pozolerías specialize in it. This dish is a well known cure for hangovers and is often eaten in the wee hours of the morning as a preventive. Pozole is also popular in New Mexico, where it is usually spelled posole.

The word pozole is Nahuatl in origin and means "foam," as the Aztecs believed hominy resembled a foamy froth.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Soup

  • Pork shoulder or roast -- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  • Canned or fresh hominy, rinsed -- 2 to 3 cups
  • Garlic -- 3 to 5 cloves
  • Ground cumin -- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt -- 2 teaspoons
  • Water or stock -- 6 cups

Garnishes

  • Cabbage or iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Onion, finely diced
  • Radishes, thinly sliced
  • Limes, cut into wedges
  • Avocado, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Oregano, dried
  • Chile piquín, ground

Method

  1. Add the pork, hominy, garlic, cumin, salt and stock or water to a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
  2. Remove the pot from heat. Take the pork from pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from its bones and shred it with your hands.
  3. Add the meat back to the pot and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with little bowls of your choice of garnishes so each dinner can garnish his or her own serving.

Pozole Variations

  • Pozole Blanco (White pozole): Pozole varies according to region, but the above recipe is the most basic and is known as pozole blanco. It is popular in Guadalajara.
  • Pozole Rojo (Red pozole): Red pozole is popular in Michoacán and Jalisco States. It is the same as the above recipe, but dried chiles are added. Remove the stems and seeds from 3 to 5 ancho or guajillo chiles. Mix them with a little of the hot liquid from the stewpot and soak for 20 to 30 minutes until soft. Puree in a blender and strain through a sieve into the stew for the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking.
  • Pozole Verde (Green pozole): Popular in Guerrero State. Follow the above recipe. Toast 1 cup of shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and then puree the seeds in a blender with 1 to 2 cups of canned or fresh cooked tomatillos, a chopped jalapeño, a couple of leaves of lettuce, a few sprigs of chopped cilantro and a little liquid from the stewpot. Strain through a sieve into a hot skillet and boil rapidly for about 5 minutes to cook down a little. Stir into the stew for the last 20 to 30 minutes of simmering.
  • Pozole with Chicken: Many recipes call for a mixture of chicken and pork. First simmer a whole chicken until the meat is tender. Remove the chicken, cool, remove the meat from its bones and shred. Set the chicken meat aside and continue with the above recipe, adding the pork to the chicken broth you just made. Add the shredded chicken back in to the pozole along with the shredded pork.
  • Large batches of pozole are often made for special occasions, and the addition of a pig's head and pig's feet add immeasurably to both the flavor and texture of the final dish.
  • Sometimes a raw egg is stirred into the stew just before serving.

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