Pozole Rojo

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Mexican food has so much more to offer once you venture outside tacos and tortillas – pozole is one of them. Pozole refers to the hominy beans that are typically, or rather exclusively, used in this traditional Mexican stew. Pozole, or posole, can be cooked with pork or chicken, and in a red (rojo) or green (verde) sauce. In this recipe for quick and easy pozole rojo, I will share my shortcut of how to get all that flavor without slaving over the stove for hours on end.

A traditional pozole recipe will first require you to make the chile paste. This usually consists of dried ancho and arbol chiles, onions, garlic, and Mexican oregano. And in case you were wondering, there’s no tomato … all that color is coming just from the chiles, and a combination of ancho and arbol give it different kinds of heat and taste, so you get a good balance of warmth and flavor. Pozole Verde is made with tomatillos and jalapeño chiles, hence its green hue.

But this is a quick and easy pozole rojo recipe, so I’m going to let you in on my shortcut – which is to use enchilada sauce! Easy as that. And immediately, you get 2 hours of your life back to watch that episode on Netflix or post something on Instagram. You are welcome 🙂 Using enchilada sauce not only cuts down on the time but still maintains all the spices and keeps the taste as authentic as you can get.


Pozole Soup

3 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cumin seeds
2 large onions, diced small
2 liters (8 cups) chicken broth
2 liters (8 cups) enchilada sauce
2 tbsp Mexican oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
10 bay leaves
110 oz (1 large tin) hominy beans
1 bunch cilantro, leaves plucked and stalks minced

To serve

Shredded cabbage
Sliced radish
Diced avocado
Tortilla chips
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges


Pozole Soup

1. Rub the pork with salt and pepper
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil, then sear the pork cubes in batches (just to seal the surface). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. To the same pan add a bit more oil if needed, then stir fry the cumin seeds and garlic.
4. When it starts sizzling, add the onions, and sauté until translucent.
5. Return the pork to the pan, then add the broth, enchilada sauce, oregano, salt and pepper, and bay leaves.
6. Bring to a boil, then simmer until pork is soft.
7. Pick up the pork pieces from the pan, transfer it to a large bowl, shredding the meat with 2 forks.
8. Return the pork to the pan, then add the hominy beans and minced cilantro stems.
9. Cook on medium heat until hominy beans soften, about 30 minutes.
10. Taste, and adjust seasoning.

To Serve  

11. Ladle into bowls, garnish with shredded cabbage, radish, avocado chunks, tortilla chips, crema, and cilantro leaves.
12. Squeeze a wee bit of lime before mixing it all together.

But please, please do not skimp on the accompaniments. For it is these that make the dish truly shine. The rich flavorful stew is but a canvas where you add in exciting textural elements such as creamy avocado, crunchy tortilla chips, the slightly bitter bite of radish, and a lovely tang of lime. It’s these different tastes and textures against a robust and hearty stew of pork and beans that make it one of the most iconic Mexican dishes.

So how do you eat pozole? I know … I know … there’s just so much going on … Well, you start by getting a bowl, a big one at that, where you ladle the stew onto it. Then you get to the fun part … you get to scatter, lay, sprinkle all the colorful garnishes however you want. That time when they told us not to play with our food? This isn’t one of those times. Kids love this. Instagrammers will love this even more 😀

If you wanted to make it an all Mexican meal, serve this quick and easy pozole with Arroz Polo, a very flavorful Mexican rice dish. And nachos … because … just because!

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