I first tasted Pozole at a Mexican friend’s backyard birthday celebration a few years ago and immediately fell in love with this hearty soup. Since then, I have eaten it many times in various versions – some with a red chili base, others with green, some versions using chicken, others pork – but it always tastes delicious and always seems to be served for some kind of celebration. Personally, I think serving Pozole is a celebration all on its own.
I also think Pozole could be considered the “vegetable soup” of Mexican culinary tradition. Different regions are known to serve it certain ways (red or green with chicken or pork), and just like vegetable soup, every cook has his/her preference of ingredients and unique way of putting it together.
I found this recipe for Pozole a couple of years ago in my local weekend paper in a little insert called “Relish.” As usual, I’ve strayed from the original recipe a bit … but that’s to be expected, right? Also, I know my Mexican friends probably don’t used as many canned goods as this recipe offers but, honestly, the end result tastes like every bit of it was made from scratch.
3 pound pork roast (shoulder or butt), trimmed
2 large onions, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can of mild green chile enchilada sauce
4 (4 oz.) cans of chopped green chiles
1 (15 oz.) can chicken broth
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves (or 1 t chopped fresh oregano)
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 oz.) cans white hominy, undrained
2 ½ tablespoons chipotle adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
To top soup upon serving, offer bowls of: sliced radishes, sliced jalapeños, finely sliced cabbage, chopped cilantro, grated cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco, tortilla chips or warm tortillas (flour or corn).
Place pork roast in a large cooking pot. Add onions and next 5 ingredients (through to the garlic). Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender.
Remove meat from pot and shred using 2 forks. Place meat back into the pot; add hominy and adobo sauce. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls and let each person choose their toppings.
This recipe is substantial, so it can easily offer 2 meals for 3-4 people. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days, or you can freeze the balance for future use.
This Pozole (sometimes spelled Posole in the US) is super easy and delicious. Great for a special celebration … or just to celebrate life. I’m a proponent of both.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Eat well. Be happy.