This traditional Mexican soup is comforting and heavy enough to be a meal all on its own.
Pozole is a Mexican soup served during special holidays and occasions like quinceañera celebrations or New Year's. In this edition, the traditional pozole recipe gets a colorful makeover, adding more spices and surprise ingredients that add an extra kick.
For me, Pork Chile Colorado Pozole represents family. I have the fondest memories of early morning preparations of a couple of foods in our house: menudo, barbacoa and tamales. And when my sister began cooking for her own family, she prepared pozole for us. I have been hooked since then. Each of those dishes have their own distinct smells, and as a kid I may have been bothered by them, but now those smells are familiar and comforting.
In our family, pozole was always traditionally prepared with pork, but I have substituted chicken many times and think it's a good alternative! The great thing about pozole is that it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And don't forget the garnishes! It wouldn't be a pozole recipe without the cabbage, radishes and lemon.
3lbs pork butt or shoulder, boneless, trim off excess fat
In a large stock pot, transfer the pork, cover with water, add the onion, whole garlic bulb and about 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, partially cover and cook for a good 2½ to 3 hours, skimming the top. When pork is tender (falling off the bone), remove from stock and set aside to cool.
While the pork is cooking, remove the stems and seeds from the chile peppers, transfer to a sauce pan, cover with water bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Drain the water, transfer peppers to blender, add 1½ cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano and blend until smooth. Strain through wire mesh strainer for a smoother sauce. Set aside.
Strain the pork stock and return to pot. Heat to medium heat, add the hominy, 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes (or dried chile piquin), 1/2 tablespoon of oregano, 1 cup of water, and the chile puree. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, taste for salt. Cook for another 20 minutes. While that cooks, shred or roughly chop the pork and remove any extra fat. Add to the pozole, stir well and cook for 25 minutes. If too thick, add a little more water, taste for salt.
Serve with tostadas or warm corn tortillas and garnish with shredded lettuce or cabbage, sliced radishes, diced white onion, oregano, crushed chile piquin and lemon.
For a more tender and flavorful pozole, let the pozole cook for a longer period of time at a low temperature. I think the longer it cooks, the better it tastes. I also like to add a little cilantro and minced chile serrano if I am not adding red pepper flakes.