Lisa’s Pozole Rojo – Guadalajara Style (translation: a really good Mexican soup)
It’s a very cold day in Southern Ontario, I thought it would be a great excuse to share my Pozole recipe with you. My pozole has a flavourful garlic and red chili broth. It is topped with fresh ingredients such as Queso Fresco, Avocado, Lime, Tapatio, Cilantro, and Onions. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this dish:
Pozole (Nahuatl: pozolli [po’solːi]), which means “foamy”; variant spellings: pozolé, pozolli,or more commonly in the U.S. –posole) is a traditional pre-Columbian soup or stew from Mexico, which once had ritual significance. Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún‘s “General History of the Things of New Spain” circa 1500 CE. It is made from nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, with meat, usually pork, chicken, turkey, pork rinds, chili peppers, and other seasonings and garnish. (from wiki)
Hominy is a food made from kernels of corn which are soaked in an alkali solution of either lime or lye. The corrosive nature of the solution removes the hull and germ of the corn and causes the grain itself to puff up to about twice its normal size. You can find Hominy in a can in your local Mexican Grocery store, or if you have a diverse grocery store you may be able to find it there.
This is my family’s favorite soup on Earth. My husband swears if he had to choose a last meal, this would be it (and now that I’m posting it he will probably bug me to make it). So here it goes…
Pozole Rojo – Guadalajara Style
2 packages of stewing beef… (i’m not sure the weight, but they are usually $5 per package)
7-8 Cups of Chicken or Beef stock ( I used the broth made from chicken that I poached for the tacos)
2 Large Cans of Juanitas White Hominy
3 Cloves of garlic minced
4 Large Dried Chiles Ancho
4 Large Chiles Guajillo
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
The Condiments (these are all optional)
Chopped White Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco or Shredded Mozza
Your favorite corn tortilla chips crumbled,
OR take your corn soft tacos, and cut them into ribbons, then into smaller pieces and fry them in olive oil till golden (this can be done ahead of time)
1. Take your dried chiles, put them in a pot with the bay leaf. Cover with water, and lid. Bring to a slow boil, and allow them to boil until they are soft and saturated. Approx 10 min.
2. Heat your stock on about med high… hot but not boiling.
3. When the chiles are done… run them under cold water so that you are able to work with them. Discard Bay leaf. Stem and seed them, and place them in a food processor with the garlic, and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Strain them into the hot broth through a medium mesh sieve. I like to take a whisk and lightly work the peppers through the sieve. You should see a lot of sediment from the skins and seeds that you may have missed in the sieve. Just discard that.
4. Take both cans of hominy and put them in a colander and rinse them well. Put them in the soup and let them get hot and incorporate and mmmm inhale because it smells sooooo good! Stir them to combine.
5. Take your beef, and rinse and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet on high heat with whatever oil you like that can stand high heat. I usually do each package of beef at a time (2 lots) so I don’t crowd the frying pan and cool the oil. You don’t want to stew the beef at this point. You just want a nice golden sear on the outside and for the beef to be rare on the inside. Put the beef into the soup. Cover. Bring to a slow rolling boil. Let it simmer for about 1-2 hours on med-low. Beef will start to break down after a certain point of cooking, and become super tender… (just like doing a roast) Everyone’s stoves are different, so test it periodically. The beef should be firm to the touch, but fall apart easily with a fork or spoon.
… you can modify this dish by using poached or roasted chicken.
When serving garnish with fresh toppings of your choice. My suggestions include:
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro and Onions
- Crunchy Crumbled Corn Chips
- Crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese
- Your favorite Hot Sauce
- Thinly sliced cabbage
- Thinly sliced fresh Mushrooms
- Chopped Avocado
- A squeeze of fresh lime
- A pinch of fresh or dried Oregano