Mexican Pozole / Posole
Recipe for a traditional Mexican Pozole - a stew made from pork shoulder, white maize and Guajillo and Ancho chillies
Posole (or pozole) is a traditional Mexican stew with pork shoulder, white hominy corn and the typical Mexican Guajillo and Ancho chillies, often served on Christmas eve, and in many parts of the country on Thursdays and Saturdays all year round. Since the stew has to simmer for several hours, it just makes sense to make a large amount and to have lots of guest with whom to enjoy it.
Typically just the simple stew with pork and hominy is served, and the add-ins, or garnishes are set at the table for all to pick and put in their soup as they wish. The soup itself should be rather brothy, because you are going to load it up quickly with shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, chopped avocados, cilantro, onions, and wedges of lime.
More hot sauce or chillies can be added for more heat.
Ingredients for 12 persons
1.5 kg of pork shoulder (preferably with bone) or pork shanks, cut into 1.5 to 2 cm cubes
100 g whole dried Guajillo or Ancho Chilis or a combination of both
3 kg can of white corn (maiz blanco from the maize type Cacahuazintle, also called hominy, is available in the Mexican Food Shop)
8 cloves of garlic
½ onion, quartered
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tblsp dried Mexican oregano (this one is much more intense than the one you get in Europe)
Garnishes (prepare while the Pozole is cooking):
Half small white cabbage, thinly sliced
A bunch of cilantro, chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
2 avocados, in thin strips
4 limes, quartered
A bunch of red radishes, cut into thin slices
Wheat tortilla and tortilla chips
Fill a large (7,5 liter) pot with water and bring the water to a boil.
In the meantime remove the stems from the dried chillies and soak them in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
Heat some olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large span on medium high heat. Pat the pork pieces dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them generously with salt. Working in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan or stir the meat much, brown the meat on all sides. Right at the end of browning the meat, add 4 cloves of roughly chopped garlic to the pan with the meat, let cook with the meat for about a minute.
Now transfer the meat and the garlic to the large pot of boiling water. Scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and any garlic, and add those to the pot as well, so that all roast aromas get into the soup. Then add the rinsed white corn, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and a tblsp of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes on small to medium heat.
Now prepare the red sauce: puree the soaked chillies with approx. 2 cups of the soaking liquid, a tsp of salt and 4 cloves of garlic in a blender. Then strain the red sauce through a sieve and add it to the Pozole. Add another couple teaspoons of of salt. Return to a simmer, lower the heat to just high enough to maintain a simmer, partially covered. Cook for 2-3 hours until the pork is completely tender. Skim away excess fat.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt to taste (you will likely need more than you expect, perhaps a tablespoon or more.) The resulting soup should be rather thin, as you will be adding a lot garnishes. Add more water if necessary.
Shortly before serving you can prepare the garnishes: slice the radishes, the cabbage, chop the cilantro, dice the onion, quarter the limes, and arrange everything in small bowls. Let your guests pick and choose which garnishes they would like on their pozole. Serve with wheat tortillas, flat bread or tortilla chips.
Photo credits: Fotolia - #102297721 - Pozole with mote big corn stew from Mexico © lunamarina