What I wouldn’t give for a huge bowl of pozole! I’m 6 1/2 months pregnant now, and I am so hungry all the time!
Pork leg and pork trotters
Bring to boil in a large pot of water with an onion and garlic cloves.
In my recent trip to Mexico I was able to photograph my Tio Juan as he made pozole rojo for our Christmas celebration. Pozole is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of stewed pork, hominy, and spices. The ingredients and preparation vary from one region to another. (This particular version is common in Northern Mexico.) My grandmother used to make humongous vats of pozole for Christmas Eve, and it is rumored that only my Tio Juan knows the secret recipe. So I was more than happy to document the whole process, for myself of course, but also to share it with you. Because it’s in moments like these, when you’re a ravenous pregnant woman, or when you’re extremely hung over, that you want to dig into a huge bowl of pozole and never look back.
Remove the seeds and stems from the chiles.
From left to right, chile guajillo (left), chile ancho (middle), chile de arbol (right)
Rinse and cover with water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 min.
My Tio Juan has been in the restaurant business for a loong time. His current restaurant is in Mexico, D.F, and it is adequately called Sr. Juan. I haven’t been there yet, sadly, but the menu is a mix of my uncle’s northern Mexican roots and modern Mexican cuisine, with a touch of exotic ingredients. The restaurant also doubles as an art gallery with expositions from Arma Blanca and with live performances from artists such as Alex Ferreira, Gustavo Galindo, Sonido Landon, and Sofi Mayen. If only I lived closer, sigh!
Blend chiles with some of the soaking water until smooth. Strain. Cook in lard for 15 min.
The pozole was the highlight of our dinner that night, but spending time with my Tio made me realize how important it is to preserve family recipes. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and observe my grandmother while she cooks. Each generation adds a bit of a twist to the classic family dishes, but they remain mostly the same. Especially now that our families are multi-cultural and multi-generational, recipes are truly part of our heritage and are one of the best things we can pass on to our children. Gracias Tio for keeping this recipe alive!(Gracias Tio por compartir tu receta.)
I encourage you to try this recipe at home even if you’re unfamiliar with some of the ingredients. It is Mexican comfort food at its best, and if you happen to be traveling to the D.F. in the near future, stop by Sr. Juan and try the pozole there. I have adapted this recipe at home to serve 6-8 people. Enjoy!
Remove pork from cooking liquid and remove bones and pull apart.
Rinse hominy and add to pot. Add pork and chile sauce back to pot and cook for 30 min. more
Toast chile piquin.
Blend with olive oil. Serve on the side.
Señor Juan’s Pozole Rojo
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
|Pork leg, cut into 2” pieces by butcher
||2 ¼ lb.
|Pork trotters, cut into 2” pieces by butcher
|Garlic, cloves, peeled & crushed
|Onion, peeled, cut in 1/2
|Chile guajillo, stemmed and seeded
|Chile ancho, stemmed and seeded
|Chile de arbol, stemmed and seeded
|Hominy, drained & rinsed
||1 can (29 oz.)
|Radishes, trimmed, julienned
|Onion, white, large, minced
|Green cabbage, cored, thinly sliced
|Limes, cut into quarters
Chile Piquin Sauce
|Chile piquin, dried
||½ oz (1/4 cup)
- Place garlic onion, pork leg, pork trotters, and 3 quarts of water in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat low- medium and simmer for about 2 ½ hrs. or until pork is tender. Skim the surface constantly.
- While pork is simmering, remove stems and seeds from the chile ancho, arbol, and guajillo. Rinse and place in a medium pot with water.
- Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min.
- Drain chiles and transfer them to a blender. Add 3 cups of the chile water and blend until smooth. Strain.
- Set a large sauce pot with lard to medium-high heat. Add chile mixture and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15 min. Set aside.
- Drain hominy, rinse and set aside.
- Transfer pork to a large bowl and shred using a fork or your hands. Remove bones and discard onion and garlic cloves.
- Return pork to pot and add chile mixture and hominy. Season with salt. Simmer for 30 min. more.
- To make the chile piquin sauce: toast the chiles over high heat on a dry sauté pan for 1-2 minutes. Trasnfer to a blender with ½ cup of olive oil. Blend until seeds are no longer visible, but the sauce is not completely smooth. Set aside.
- Serve pozole with limes, cut radishes, onion, cabbage, and chile piquin sauce as toppings and corn chips on the side.
The chile piquin sauce is super hot! If you like your pozole spicy add as much as you please.