This Pozole Recipe is made with pork shoulder, chiles anchos, chiles guajillos, onion, garlic, oregano and hominy.
Pozole Rojo is a traditional Mexican soup made with pork, red chiles, and hominy. It is a hearty and flavorful dish that is often served at celebratory events and gatherings. Pozole Rojo is a versatile dish that can be adapted to your taste by adjusting the spiciness level or adding your favorite toppings. This dish is perfect for cold days or when you are craving a comforting and satisfying meal. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to make a delicious and authentic Pozole Rojo and share some tips to help you elevate your cooking game.
Making pozole is so nostalgic to me. My grandma would have my whole extended Mexican family over for this Pozole Recipe. Since it takes 3 hours to make, it would be an all day event. We would go over to her house, have some drinks and enjoy the soup.
What is Pozole?
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew that typically includes hominy (dried corn kernels that have been treated with an alkali to remove the hull and germ), meat (usually pork), and a flavorful broth. Other common ingredients include onions, garlic, chilies, and a variety of spices. The dish is often garnished with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, and avocado, as well as toppings such as lime juice, cilantro, and oregano. Pozole is a popular dish throughout Mexico and is often served at festive occasions and celebrations, such as Christmas and the Day of the Dead.
Why you will love this Pozole Recipe
- Comfort food: Pozole is a warm, hearty, and comforting dish that is perfect for cooler weather or when you need a bit of comfort.
- Flavorful: With its rich, savory broth and bold spices, pozole is a flavorful dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
- Versatile: Pozole can be made with a variety of meats, including pork, chicken, and beef, and can be customized to suit your preferences by adjusting the spices and toppings.
- Nutritious: Pozole is a nutrient-dense dish that is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Cultural significance: Pozole is an important part of Mexican cuisine and is often served at cultural celebrations and special occasions, making it a dish that is rich in history and tradition.
Pozole Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Pork shoulder
- Chile ancho
- Chile guajillo
- Bay leaves
- Chicken broth
- White hominy
See recipe card for Pozole Recipe quantities.
How to make Pozole
Start by boiling 1 onion, 3 cloves or garlic, 2 chiles anchos, and 2 chiles guajillos for 15 minutes. Strain but reserve a cup of the chili water. In a 6-8 quart pot, boil 18 cups of water. Throw in the pork shoulder and a bay leaf and cook for an hour. Do not cover the pot.
Blend the onion, garlic and chilies. Filter the sauce out through a small strainer to get some of the seeds and chili pieces out. Add the cumin, oregano and coriander into the red sauce and stir.
After the pork cooks for an hour, remove some of the scum and foam that forms on the top of the water with a ladle. Add the chicken broth, the red sauce, and the cup of the reserved chili water. Lower the temperature, cover and cook for another hour. Take meat out and shred on separate plate and throw back into the pot. Add the hominy and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.
Pour yourself a bowl and garnish with sliced radishes, cilantro, cabbage/lettuce and lime.
What to serve with Pozole
- Tostadas - Crispy fried tortillas that can be topped with refried beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.
- Quesadillas - Grilled tortillas filled with cheese and other ingredients, such as chicken or vegetables. Check out my Squash Blossom Quesadillas.
- Guacamole - A dip made with mashed avocados, onion, tomato, lime juice, and cilantro.
- Pico de gallo - A fresh salsa made with diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Mexican rice - A side dish made with rice, tomato sauce, onion, and garlic.
- Corn on the cob - Grilled or boiled corn on the cob, brushed with butter and sprinkled with chili powder and lime juice. Check out my Mexican Corn Recipe.
- Chips and salsa - Tortilla chips served with various types of salsa, such as salsa roja or salsa verde.
- Pork shoulder: You could substitute other cuts of pork such as pork loin or pork belly. Alternatively, you could use chicken, beef, or skip the meat altogether for a vegetarian version.
- Chile ancho and chile guajillo: Ancho and guajillo chiles are commonly used in pozole for their rich, smoky flavor. If you can't find them, you could substitute other dried chiles such as New Mexico or California chiles. You could also use chili powder or canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a different flavor profile.
- Chicken broth: You could substitute vegetable or beef broth or use water instead.
- White hominy: Hominy is a type of dried corn that has been treated with an alkali to remove the hull and germ. If you can't find white hominy, you could use yellow hominy or canned hominy. If you can't find hominy at all, you could substitute cooked white beans or corn kernels.
- Radishes: Radishes are a common garnish for pozole, but you could substitute other crunchy vegetables such as jicama or cucumber.
- Cilantro: If you don't like cilantro, you could substitute parsley or skip the herb altogether.
- Lettuce: Lettuce is often used to garnish pozole, but you could use other greens such as cabbage or arugula.
- Lime: You could substitute lemon or skip the citrus altogether.
Pozole Recipe Variations
- Chicken Pozole: You can substitute pork with chicken and make Chicken Pozole. Chicken thighs or breasts can be used to prepare the soup.
- Vegetarian Pozole: To make a vegetarian version of Pozole, you can skip meat and replace chicken broth with vegetable broth. Use vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, corn, and carrots in the recipe.
- Seafood Pozole: Instead of pork or chicken, use seafood such as shrimp or fish to prepare this variation. You can also use clam juice instead of chicken broth to enhance the seafood flavor.
- Green Pozole: This variation uses green chilies such as poblano or jalapeno, to make the soup. It is usually served with a side of radishes, avocado, and lettuce.
- Pork and Bean Pozole: You can add beans such as black beans or pinto beans to the recipe to make it more filling and nutritious.
Check out my Zucchini Beef Soup.
- Large stockpot: You will need a large stockpot to cook the pork shoulder and hominy.
- Blender: You will need a blender to puree the chili peppers for the pozole sauce.
- Wooden spoon: You will need a wooden spoon to stir the pozole as it cooks.
- Cutting board: You will need a cutting board to chop the onion, garlic, and other vegetables.
- Chef’s knife: You will need a sharp chef’s knife to chop the vegetables and pork.
- Ladle: You will need a ladle to serve the pozole.
- Soup bowls: You will need soup bowls to serve the pozole.
- Garnishes: To serve alongside pozole, you may want to have lime wedges, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, and sliced avocado on hand.
How to store Pozole
Pozole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It is best to store the broth and the toppings separately to prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy. If you plan to store the pozole for longer, you can freeze it for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, simply transfer the pozole to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. When reheating, you may need to add a little water or broth to loosen up the soup as it may thicken in the fridge or freezer.
Pozole Recipe Top tips
- Choose the right pork: Pork shoulder is the best cut of meat for pozole, as it is tender and flavorful. Make sure to trim any excess fat and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- Soak the hominy: To ensure that the hominy is fully cooked, it is important to soak it overnight in cold water. Rinse it well before adding it to the soup.
- Toast the chiles: To bring out their flavor, toast the dried chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes on each side, until they are fragrant and slightly softened. Remove the stems and seeds before soaking them in hot water.
- Blend the sauce well: The key to a flavorful pozole rojo is a well-blended sauce. Use a blender or food processor to puree the soaked chiles with the onion, garlic, and spices until smooth.
- Add the toppings: Pozole is traditionally served with a variety of toppings, such as shredded lettuce, diced onion, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges. These fresh toppings add texture and flavor to the soup, so be sure to have them ready when serving.
- Don't overcook the pork: While the soup should simmer for several hours to develop flavor, be careful not to overcook the pork. It should be tender but still hold its shape.
- Adjust the seasoning: Taste the pozole before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, lime juice, or hot sauce to taste.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove