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Mexico Inspired Recipes

Recipes Inspired by Mexico
Pozole Rojo Spicy Mexican Soup

Pozole traditionally is an enormous pot of soup made from boiling the head of a pig and adding dried chili ancho and/or other chili peppers. This delicious and warming dish is perfect for big gatherings and rainy or cold days.  This recipe is slightly changed from the original using a nicely marbled pork shoulder roast to better accommodate your grocery shopping list.  Enjoy!!

Red Pozole Soup  


4 ounces guajillo, ancho, or a combination of both, dried chili pods
Salt to taste
1 large (108 ounce, 6 lb 12 oz, 3 kg) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
3 lbs pork shoulder (preferably with bone), cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes (pork shanks are a good alternative cut), make sure to use a cut well marbled with fat
8 cloves garlic, 4 cloves roughly chopped, and 4 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp of dry oregano (Mexican oregano if available)

Garnishes (to be readied while pozole is cooking):
Half a small green cabbage sliced thinly
One bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 avocados peeled and chopped
4 limes, quartered
A bunch of red radishes, thinly sliced
A couple dozen *tostadas or a bag of *totopos

*Tostadas are hard fried corn tortillas. They are sold packaged and can often be found in the same section of your grocery store as fresh tortillas, or can be found at Mexican markets. *Totopos are basically the same but the tortillas have been cut into chips.  You can make your own by frying stale corn tortillas (or tortillas that have dried out a bit in a warm oven), in hot vegetable oil until stiff.


Fill a large 10-12 quart stockpot with 5 quarts of water. Set on heat to bring to a boil. While the water comes to a boil begin working with the chilis.

De-vein and remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilis.

Heat a cast iron pan on medium high and lightly roast the chili pods for a couple minutes, until they begin to soften, while being careful to not let them burn. While the chilies are heating, bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Once the chiles have softened drop them into the of 3 cups of boiling water, cover the pot and remove from heat. Let the chiles soak in the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat a bit of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large saute pan 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.

Once the meat has browned, transfer it to the large stockpot 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. Add the rinsed hominy. Add bay leaves, cumin, and oregano. When you put the oregano in, rub it together with your hands so that the oregano breaks up more and releases its flavor. Add a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.

Prepare the red sauce by pureeing in a blender the chilies, 2 1/2 cups or so of their soaking liquid, a teaspoon of salt, and 4 cloves of garlic. (To prevent the blender from creating too much pressure, it's probably best to start with the chiles and garlic and only a cup of the liquid in the blender, and then adding the rest of the liquid.) Strain the red sauce through a sieve, discarding the tough bits of the sauce.

Add the red chili sauce to the pot with the pork and hominy. Add another couple teaspoons of of salt to taste.  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. The resulting soup should be brothy, as you will be adding a lot garnishes. Add more water if necessary.

When getting ready to serve the pozole, you can prep the garnishes (slice the cabbage, chop the cilantro, etc.) To serve, arrange the garnishes in bowls on the table and serve the pozole soup into bowls. Let your guests pick and choose which garnishes they would like on their pozole. Serve with tostada shells (or tortilla chips if you can't find tostada shells).

This recipes serves 12.  Happy leftovers!



Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:27 AM by Carlos Martínez
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