Authentic Mexican Pozole Rojo Recipe (Pork Stew): Comfort Food From Mexico | Mexican Recipes
Sometimes we just crave comfort food. Maybe it’s more like a need than a craving. The Today Show recently released 72 best comfort food recipes to nourish your soul. They had me at their headline! These comfort food recipes are “sure to soothe your soul and warm you from the inside out.” Sounds good to me! Their list is long and varied, and I had trouble deciding where to start.
I love learning about international recipes and have a soft spot for the recipes of Spanish-speaking countries because I studied Spanish for many years. Hence, Mexico’s pozole rojo caught my eye (though I should note that while 90 percent of Mexico’s residents speak Spanish, about 10 percent speak one of Mexico’s native languages).
Pozole is one of Mexico’s most iconic dishes, a stew made with pork (or chicken or seafood today). It was first prepared by the Aztecs hundreds of years ago. The word pozole means “foam” (pozolli in Nahuatl, the Aztecs’ language). The type of kernel used was white (cacahuazintle) and, once cooked, resembled a beautiful white foam.
According to Marcela Valladolid, whose recipe is featured in the Today Show article, the most challenging part of this authentic Mexican recipe (her family’s recipe!) is “cleaning the maiz of its small caps at the base.” This process takes about one hour. According to Valladolid, “you can skip the whole process of cooking it by simply purchasing canned hominy and adding it at the end.” As someone who doesn’t like to spend more time in the kitchen than necessary, I appreciate the time saver myself.
If you’d like to make (and eat) a traditional, comforting Mexican dish, this pork pozole recipe is a winner!
Prep Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours to 3 1/2 hours
- 4 cups, maiz pozolero tip caps removed from kernels (this can take up to an hour) or 4 cups canned, drained hominy
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 1 head garlic, halved on “the equator”
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup cooking liquid (water, stock or wine)
- 10 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed, torn into pieces
- shredded cabbage (seasoned with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper)
- sliced radishes
- minced white onion
- crumbled Mexican oregano
- hot sauce (or salsa macha)
- lime wedges
Here’s how to make it:
- If you are cleaning the hominy, add it to a very large pot along with enough water to cover by 4 inches (about 26 cups of water). Add the halved onion and both garlic halves to water and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat (it takes about 30 minutes to bring to a boil). Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. If you have canned hominy to add at the end, begin by adding onion and garlic to the pot of water.
- Remove onion and garlic and discard. Add bay leaves and pork butt pieces, then stir in salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for another 1 hour.
- While the pork simmers, make the chile puree. Place chile pieces and 2 cups of water in a small pot and boil for 5 minutes. Transfer chiles to a blender with 1/2 cup cooking liquid (water or stock or wine) and blend on high until smooth. Strain the blended chiles into the pozole pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes longer.
- To serve, scoop some broth, pozole and pork pieces into a bowl. Top with cabbage, radishes, white onion, oregano and hot sauce, if desired. Squeeze lime wedges over the top.
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