So I said last week in my Palak Posole post that I’d not already purchased hominy/posole from Rancho Gordo on account of the fact that I associated posole entirely with the Mexican soup/stew of near-identical name, and that as our local house of Mexican goodness, El Triunfo, offers a very good version on weekends I didn’t need to make it at home. Here I am, therefore, with a recipe for a rough and ready pozole rojo. You see, I soaked and cooked a pound of posole last week and even after using a lot of it in the Palak Posole and some more in a keema dish (recipe coming soon) I had a few cups left over. And as I also had a large package of pork neck bones in the freezer, it was hard to not end up making pozole. I’ve eaten a lot of pozole but have never made it before. Scanning the intertubes it didn’t seem like the hardest thing to do. What follows is an approximation/intersection of a number of recipes I looked at. If you want a more precise recipe (and with chicken rather than pork) you could do far worse than to look at the posole rojo recipe in the Rancho Gordo e-booklet on posole. Whatever recipe you use, the results are likely to be good.
- 8 cups of stock and shredded meat from 3 lbs of pork neck bones.
- Cooked Rancho Gordo hominy/posole, 3-4 cups, drained
- 8-12 large dried red chillies (I used a mix of ancho and guajillo)
- One 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1.5 tblspns garlic, chopped
- 1 large pinch of dried oregano (Mexican preferably)
- For garnish: sliced jalapenos, sliced radishes, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, chopped onion.
- Lime, quartered.
- Vegetable oil
[See instructions for cooking the posole here.]
- Put the pork bones in a deep pot, cover with 2-3 inches of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes, skim of as much of the scum as you can, cover and simmer for 2 hours or so; skim a few more times as you go. Shred the meat off the bones and reserve; also reserve 8 cups of the stock.
- Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 30 minutes or so. Once soft, remove the stems and the seeds that come out with it and puree the soft chillies with some of the soaking liquid and the tomatoes.
- Heat the oil and add the chopped onion and garlic and stir over medium heat till the onion is translucent.
- Add the puree and the oregano and salt and cook down over medium heat till oil begins to separate.
- Add the stock, mix thoroughly and bring up to a boil.
- Add the cooked hominy and the shredded meat, bring to a high simmer and cook for another 30-45 minutes, covered.
- Serve with the garnishes and lime and salt to taste.
- While this is a livid red it’s not actually very hot/spicy; you may want to have added crushed dried hot pepper on hand at serving.
- The better your stock the better the final flavour.
- Instead of soaking and pureeing chillies you could use dry chilli powder instead (that’s what the Rancho Gordo recipe does).
- Don’t worry too much about salt as you’re cooking; let each person add salt to their bowl to their preference.
- I think it’s customary to use white onion, but red is what I had at hand.
- It will taste good right away but will taste even better a day or two later after a couple of re-heatings as the flavours really come together.
- I have to say that for my first time making this the results were competitive with the pozoles I’ve had at Mexican restaurants across the US. That might say something about the restaurants I’ve eaten it at, you might say, but mostly what it says is that pozole is not a hard thing to make; it just takes time to make the stock and cook the hominy.
- I look forward to experimenting with other kinds of pozole as well with my remaining stash of Rancho Gordo hominy.
- Emy Farley is shameless and greedy.