pozole

I’ve been meaning to make pozole, the traditional Mexican stew, for years now, ever since I’d had it at a fund raiser dinner, but what with all the dried chiles and meat and assorted toppings and hominy (hominy? what even is that?), it seemed a bit involved.

But then David wrote about it and the recipe didn’t look nearly as complicated as I thought it’d be. A month before, I’d gotten over the hominy hump when I’d purchased a whole huge tin of the stuff for a sausage soup (spoiler: there’s nothing tricky or even very exotic about hominy) and now I had the leftover hominy stashed in the freezer. And, once I realized I already had hominy in the freezer, I remembered that I also had leftover Thanksgiving turkey and turkey broth down there as well. And then I checked my stash of dried chiles and, lo and behold, I had the exact ones the recipe called for! 

The soup came together super fast. Aside from the making of the red sauce — just soak the toasted peppers in water and then blend them into a paste), it was mostly just assembly. And boy, was it good — so nourishing and rich and tasty — and the second day it was even better.

Half the soup is condiments (chopped lettuce, radishes, avocados, sour cream, hot sauce, lime, tortilla chips, whatever) which means it’s basically soup with a giant salad on top. How fun is that?

And! In the dead of winter, when we’re craving soup and becoming increasingly desperate for crunchy greens, pozole is the solution. The best of both worlds, it’ll do you good. Promise. 


Pozole 
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s blog.

4 cups cooked, chopped chicken or turkey
4-6 cups cooked hominy, rinsed and well-drained
2-3 quarts chicken or turkey broth
2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
3 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
1 smallish onion, peeled and rough chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
lard or oil
salt and pepper

toppings: finely chopped iceberg lettuce or cabbage, sliced radishes, avocado, lime wedges, fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, hot sauce, tortilla chips, etc.

First, make the red sauce. Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over high heat until they are smokey hot and blackened in places. Place the chiles in bowl and add two cups of boiling water. Cover with a plate and soak for 15 minutes. Transfer the now-soggy chiles to a blender, add the onion and garlic, and blend, adding some of the soaking water as needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

Now, for the soup. Melt a generous scoop of lard (or a couple glugs of oil) in a large, heavy-bottomed kettle over medium-high heat. Add the red sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes — this deepens the sauce’s flavor and removes the bite from the garlic and onion. Whisk in the broth, and add the chicken and hominy. Bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering  for about 20 minutes. Season as needed.

To serve, ladle the pozole into bowls and pile on the condiments to high heaven.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (1.14.19), no-knead sourdough bread, the quotidian (1.15.18), the quotidian (1.16.17), cranberry bread, on kindness, through the kitchen window, GUATEMALA!!!, crumbs, vanilla cream cheese braids.

5 Comments

  • Judy

    I find chilis intimidating. I always wish my grocery woukd schedule an in-store seminar with a Mexican cook to tell me how it's done. This is a favorite soup of mine but I've only done a simplified version. Still good but I've now put these peppers on my grocery list.

  • Bob!

    Interesting, I've eaten a lot of posole in my life but never with turkey or chicken. Usually with bone in short rib meat. I'll have to try it with chicken. After moving to VA from the southwest I find there isn't much in the way of good authentic mexican food around here…ya just have to make it yourself! 🙂

  • Deborah

    I always associate posole with pork, but I'm sure chicken or turkey would be good, also. I've always made the 'verde' version, with roasted poblanos, jalapeno, and tomatillos, but this version seems pretty straightforward. The toppings are our favorite, we always use cabbage and include a little queso fresco crumbled, too.

  • Lana

    Hominy is best when you have a nice brown skillet after frying a steak or pork chops. Add the drained hominy and s&p and brown it scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Best when prepared out camping after frying meat in a cast iron skillet over an open fire.

  • treebeardshollow

    glad you loved it ! in my husbands Mexican family, it is traditionally cooked with pork(think pulled pork meat ) and topped with lime and green cabbage yum !

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