Meaty and richly spiced red pozole is satisfying any day of the week.
Tender, succulent pork in a rich broth with roasted garlic, two types of chiles, and loads of hominy. This soup is flavourful and warming without being too spicy.
I love this soup as part of a meal with rice and soft tortillas. Slice up some fresh avocado on the side and lime wedges for a little added fresh punch to cut through the richness of the soup.
This recipe takes several hours to prepare, but I think it's well worth the effort. You will also need several pieces of equipment, namely two stock pots large enough to fit the ingredients along with about 3 or 4 quarts of water.
(Makes 8 servings)
2, 1/2lb pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 pork hocks
2 pig's feet
1 large sweet onion, peeled and left whole
2 medium carrots, peeled and ends removed
2 stalks celery, halved with leaves
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 whole black peppercorns
2 whole allspice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (or pasilla chiles)
1 bulb garlic, roasted
2 cans (15oz ea) hominy, drained and rinsed (yellow or white)
After cutting the pork shoulder into large pieces, place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until needed later in this recipe.
Rinse the pork hocks and pig's feet very well under cold running water before placing into a very large pot over medium-high heat and filling it with 12 to 14 cups of cold water. Meat should be completely covered with sufficient room for water to boil. Add the whole onion, carrots, celery, and sea salt. Bring to a rolling boil and using a skimmer, remove any foam that rises to the surface. Once the foam stops rising, add the whole black peppercorns, whole all spice, bay leaves, cumin, and Mexican oregano. Mix these into the water then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with the lid off-set to let steam escape. Simmer for 3.5 hours or until the meat is soft enough to fall off the bone.
Once the stems and seeds are removed from the dried chilies, chop them into thirds and place them into a blender. Pour in several ladles of hot broth from the pork, passing it through a sieve to catch any peppercorns, etc. (return anything caught by the sieve to the pot). The hot broth should be enough to cover the chiles. Set aside and let soak until the pork is finished cooking.
Also, while the pork simmers, roast the garlic bulb. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C, and line a small baking tray with parchment paper or tinfoil. Remove the outer, loose layers of skin from the bulb then slice off the top to expose the cloves inside. Place the bulb cut-side-up on a piece of tinfoil and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Wrap up the bulb in the tinfoil making a small packet and place it on the baking tray in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven, unwrap and let cool to room temperature.
Once the pork has finished simmering, place a second, equally large pot on the stove fitted with a strainer over top. Begin ladling the broth, vegetables, and pork through the strainer into the second pot. Once the first pot is empty enough, carefully lift and pour all of the remaining contents through the strainer into the second pot. This should catch all the lose bones and result in a pot with only broth. Transfer the strainer over to the first pot and set the second pot over the active element. Set the first pot and strainer aside to cool.
While the contents of the strainer cool, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the blender with the chiles. Blend on high until smooth. Pass the puréed chiles mixture through a sieve into the pot of broth. Transfer a ladle of broth to the blender container, swish it around to loosen the remaining purée and pour through the sieve to help the puréed chiles mixture pass through.
Add the pork shoulder to the pot of broth, stir, and increase the heat to medium-high until it returns to a simmer. If the level of the broth is not covering the meat, add a couple of cups of water and mix well. Lower the heat once again to medium-low once it returns to a simmer. Should any foam rise to the surface, skim it away and discard. Partially cover the pot and let simmer.
As the pork shoulder simmers, begin cleaning the contents of the strainer. Separate the meat from the bones and discard the bones, vegetables, and skin from the hocks and feet. Once all the meat is separated out, shred and cut the meat using a fork and knife. The meat should be exceptionally tender making this easy to do. Set aside.
After the pork shoulder has simmered for about 90 minutes, add the shredded meat and hominy. Stir well and continue simmering for about another hour to 90 minutes until the pork shoulder is very tender. As it continues to cook, skim off any excess fat that settles on the surface.
Once ready, taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Optional: Garnish with avocado slices, radish slices, and shredded cabbage.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 272 | total fat = 9.04g | saturated fat = 2.74g | cholesterol = 50.75mg | sodium = 2,687.31mg | net carbohydrates = 10.23g | dietary fibre = 3.04g | sugars = 1.55g | protein = 23.84g