Pozole is such a staple in Mexican cuisine. I love that this is a dish that you can tailor and add your touch to make it your own. Thus, there are no rules! For example, my family cooks it with chicken and pork.
Throughout Mexico, you can find different pozole styles. There’s a green, a white, and a red–just like the colors of our flag.
Green pozole is cooked with tomatillos and/or serrano chiles, and some even use pepita seeds. Red pozole is cooked with guajillo and ancho chiles. All things considered, pozole is also a well-known New Mexican dish. Today’s recipe, though, is for the Mexican red pozole.
One important consideration when eating an authentic Mexican pozole is the toppings and some extras to make your pozole experience unique so you feel like you are in the streets of Mexico.
Authentic Mexican pozole is so versatile. While most people associate it with winter, in Mexico, we serve it year long. It is also a staple dish during September, which is the month we celebrate our Independence from Spain.
I like to make pozole in the slow cooker. It is easy, and the meat is tender. In any case, make sure you use the different cuts of meat as they add body and flavor to the stew. Even if you are not willing to eat the pigs’ feet, still add them to your pozole. Some of these cuts can be easily found in Mexican or Asian stores.
When it comes to hominy, you can buy pozole corn that has already been dried and nixtamalized. It is better than canned hominy which can get mushy. You can use mote corn too because it is pre-nixtamalized and only needs to be soaked overnight.
Last but not least, let’s talk garnishes! An authentic Mexican pozole is served with diced onions, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, Mexican oregano, and chile powder. In any case, you must accompany your pozole with a tostada slathered with crema–Mexican sour cream and a sprinkle of salt. You will feel like you are eating at a Mexican fonda or market.
Let’s get started!
- 16 oz. package dried nixtamalized hominy
- 2 pigs’ feet weighing about 2-1/2 to 3 pounds
- 1 pound pork shoulder (whole)
- 1 pound pork ribs
- 1/2 medium white onion, plus 1 1/2 cups chopped for serving
- 2 cloves of peeled garlic
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 24 tostadas
- 2 cups of Mexican crema
- 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 bunch of radishes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of Mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried arbol chile or chile piquin
- 5 limes
- hot vinegary salsa such as Valentina or Cholula
For the chile sauce
- 4 ounces dried guajillo or ancho chiles, or a combination of both
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Soak the hominy in cold water overnight.
- Rinse pigs’ feet and place in a bowl with cold water. Let them sit for an hour.
- Prepare the chile. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from the chile pods. Heat a cast-iron pan on medium-high and heat the chili pods for a couple of minutes, until they begin to soften. Do not let them burn.
- While the chiles are heating, bring a medium pot with 3 cups of water to a simmer and remove from heat. Once the chiles have softened, add them to the pot of hot water and cover. Let the chiles soak in the hot water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Prepare the red sauce by puréeing in a blender the chiles, a cup of the liquid, a teaspoon of salt, and 4 cloves of garlic. Add more of the liquid if needed. Strain the red sauce and set it aside.
- Rinse pigs’ feet and place them in the slow cooker along with the ribs, pork shoulder, onion wedge, and garlic. Cover with water. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. Skim off any scum that may come to the surface. Add more water if necessary.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker reserving the liquid there. Cube the meat and set it aside. The pigs’ feet add a lot of flavor and body to the stew and you can eat the meat. Shred them if you want it. Since I don’t like pigs’ feet, I just discard them.
- Drain the hominy you soaked the night before. Discard the water. Add the kernels to your slow cooker where the broth is. Add as much of the chile sauce as you want. Cook on high for 60 to 90 minutes until you see the kernels bursting into a flower-like shape. Stir occasionally.
- Return the meat to the slow cooker. Add salt to taste and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve hot in bowls and make sure you have all the fixings: chopped onions, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, a dash of Mexican oregano, and chile powder. Add some Valentina or Cholula sauce and lime. Make sure you accompany it with tostadas slathered in Mexican crema.
Now you can make this authentic Mexican pozole for your friends and family and make your dinner a Mexican affair!
Originally published March 2022.
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