Red Pork Pozole

Pozole Rojo de Puerco

Red Pork Pozole soup is my favorite Mexican dish hands down. It’s simple, earthy, rich and satisfying. Pozole is pork or chicken – this recipe calls for pork – and hominy in a mildly spicy guajillo and ancho chile broth garnished with shredded cabbage or lettuce, diced onion, sliced radish, Mexican oregano and some arból chile for a little extra heat with a squirt of lime juice to bring it all together. The perfect dish.

Red Pork Pozole

Let Us Teach You How to Make Great Pozole

Is authentic pozole difficult to make? No, it isn’t, but it is laborious. It’s a dish you make when you are having friends and family over to share good food and good times. It’s well worth the effort! If you make it once, you will be asked to make it every time you get together. You will see.

The Cooking Process

If you have never made pozole before it will help to visualize the process. Here’s a list of the main steps. The photos will walk you through the process.

Start with these steps:

These are done in separate pots at the same time.

  • Prepare the chile base
  • Cook the pork
  • Cook the hominy

Then complete these steps:

  • Combine the ingredients in 1 pot and simmer
  • Prepare the garnishes

Then the best part:

  • Serving and eating

Gather Your Ingredients

The main ingredients to make pozole are pork, hominy (maíz pozolero), ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, onion, garlic, and Mexican oregano and optional chiles de arból.

Ingredients for Red Pork Pozole

Cooking the Pork & Broth

Place the pork, a head of garlic a few bay leaves and half an onion in a large pot and just cover with water (about 6 cups). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. The pork is done when you can easily pull it apart with your fingers. If the pork doesn’t pull apart easily after 45 minutes, cook for another 15 minutes.

Cooking the Pork for Red Pozole

When the pork is cooked remove it from the cooking liquid and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside.

Cooked Pork and Pork Broth

When the pork is cool to the touch, shred it with your fingers into 1″ long pieces.

Shredded Pork

Preparing the Chile Base

Remove the stems, seeds, and veins from the chiles and discard.

Removing Stems Seeds and Veins from Dried Chiles

Place the chiles, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 white onion in a pot and just cover with water (about 3 cups).

Reconstituting Dried Chiles for Red Pozole Base

Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Allow the chiles to rest for 15 minutes to reconstitute them. Notice how the chiles have expanded and become pliable from absorbing the water.

Cooking the Ancho Guajillo Chile Base for Red Pork Pozole

Add the chiles, onion, garlic oregano, and soaking liquid to your blender. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Do this in 2 batches.

Blending Chiles

Strain the blended chile base.

Straining the Chile Base

Press the pulp firmly with the back of the spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the chile pulp that remains.

Chile Pulp in Strainer

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat and pour in the chile base. This is called “seasoning.” It is an important step that adds a lot of flavor to your pozole.

Frying The Chile Base

Simmer for 30 minutes until the base has thickened and darkened in color. Looking good, isn’t it?

Finished Chile Base for Red Pozole

Cooking the Hominy

Drain the canned hominy and rinse. Put the rinsed hominy in a large pot and cover with 2″ of water. Simmer while you are preparing the pork and chile base.

Hominy - Maiz Pozolero

Assembling the Pozole

Now it is time to bring all of the ingredients together. Add the chile base to the hominy.

Adding Chile Base to Hominy

Then add the pork broth and shredded pork. Add 3 teaspoons of sea salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add more salt as necessary.

Adding Pork Broth

When the pozole is ready to serve it will have taken on a beautiful deep red color. 

Cooked Pozole

Preparing the Garnishes

While your pozole is simmering you will need to get all of the garnishes ready. The traditional garnishes are: shredded cabbage or lettuce, diced onion, slices of radish, oregano, limes and finely chopped dried chiles or chile powder.

Garnishes for Red Pork Pozole

This Is How I Prepare My Perfect Bowl

Everyone has a unique way of personalizing their pozole. This is how I prepare mine. You need to start with the garnishes: shredded cabbage or lettuce, chopped onion, sliced radish, oregano and chopped spicy arból chile. Then you add your preferred garnishes in your preferred quantity.

Let’s begin. I start with a naked bowl of pozole.

Red Pork Pozole No Garnish

Add cabbage.

Red Pork Pozole With Cabbage

Add radish.

Red Pork Pozole With Cabbage and Radish

Add onion.

Red Pork Pozole With Garnishes

Add oregano.

Red Pork Pozole With Garnishes 2

And lastly, add chile de arból for some heat with a squirt of lime to tie all the flavors together.

Red Pork Pozole With Garnishes 3

Here It Is, My Perfect Bowl

What do you think!

Bowl of Authentic Red Pork Pozole With Garnishes

Hungry yet? Provecho!

Pozole Rojo de Puerco - Red Pork Pozole

Note: “Posole” or “pazole” are alternative spellings used to describe this dish.

Authentic Red Pork Pozole
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4.33 from 65 votes

Red Pork Pozole Recipe

Authentic Red Pork Pozole – a simple, earthy, rich and satisfying dish. Pork and hominy in a mildly spicy chile broth garnished with shredded cabbage, diced onion, sliced radish, and Mexican oregano finished with a squirt of lime juice.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword ancho chile, hominy, pasilla chile, pork, soup, stew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 280kcal
Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

Pozole

  • 3 pounds boneless pork leg
  • 2 25 oz. cans of hominy drained and rinsed
  • 5 ancho chiles
  • 5 guajillo chiles
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 arból chiles optional, use if you want a spicier broth
  • 3 cloves of garlic + 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp sea salt + as needed

Garnishes

  • 1/2 head of cabbage shredded
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 6 radishes sliced into half moons
  • 6 limes quartered
  • 4 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 6 arból chiles finely chopped
  • Salt as needed

Instructions

FIRST STEPS

  • The first steps are done in separate pots at the same time.

Pork and Pork Broth

  • Place the pork, head of garlic a few bay leaves and half an onion in a large pot and just cover with water (about 6 cups).
  • Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. The pork is done when you can easily pull it apart with your fingers. If the pork doesn't pull apart easily after 45 minutes, cook for another 15 minutes.
  • When the pork is cooked remove it from the cooking liquid and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside.
  • Shred the pork with your fingers into 1" long pieces.

Chile Base

  • Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles and discard.
  • Place the chiles, clove of garlic, and 1/2 white onion in a pot and just cover with water (about 3 cups).
  • Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Allow the chiles to rest for 15 minutes to reconstitute them. Notice how the chiles have expanded and become pliable from absorbing the water.
  • Add the chiles, onion, garlic oregano, and soaking liquid to your blender. Blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Strain the blended chile base. Discard the chile pulp that remains.
  • In a pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat and pour in the chile base. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes until the base has thickened and darkened in color.

Hominy

  • Drain the canned hominy and rinse.
  • Put the rinsed hominy in a large pot and cover with 2" of water.
  • Simmer while you are preparing the pork and chile base.

NEXT STEPS

    Assembling Your Pozole

    • Now it is time to bring all of the ingredients together.
    • Pour the prepared chile base into the hominy.
    • Then add the pork broth and shredded pork. 
    • Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
    • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
    • Adjust the salt as necessary.

    Prepare the Garnishes

    • Shred the cabbage.
    • Dice the onion.
    • Slice the radish into half-moons.
    • Quarter the limes.
    • Finely chop the arból chile.
    • Place each garnish into individual serving bowls.

    FINAL STEPS

      Serving

      • Ladle the pozole into individual bowls to serve.
      • Each person garnishes their pozole as desired.
      •  The final step is to enjoy!

      Notes

      “Posole” or “pazole” are alternative spellings.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 899mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4340IU | Vitamin C: 30.2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3.9mg

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      40 comments… add one
      • Bruce Starry

        It seems the flavor can remain hidden until the salt is brought to level. I normally do not add salt to my cooking and most things turn out seasoned enough. I am liberal with pepper – you need to add some if you want to warm your dish.

        I love my first shot at pozole! It tastes authentic as my ex was mexican and I’ve had original dishes by her aunt and mother. I was a bit worries when my chili saus was showing no sign of darkening or thickening, I simmer slowly and it took a good 45 minutes for it to darken and thicken. It also “absorbs” the orangish oil that was swirling on the top. The sauce definitely goes through a change when its ready. If yours hadnt changed….keep simmering it.

        Another reader though the soup was bland and tasteless. I was nearly on the same page as I was in the process of seasoning it. As the salt lever came up….teaspoon at a time….the broth came to life! I could now taste the rich tender tasty pork, garlic, onion, chilis……but I’m missing some heat. Half teaspoon cayenne to start. Not enough. Dont want to spoil it for the wimps. But it seems this mexican national dish should make you break a sweat. But thats just me.

      • James

        This recipe is fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. My whole family loved it. I have made it several times and have also used the soup base for making homemade chili, which turned out amazing.. Recipe is perfect as written. Next time I make it i plan to smoke the pork for three hours then sous vide it with the spices for 24 hours. I think the addition of smoky pork will add another layer of flavor. Not to say your recipe isnt flavorful enough, just an added twist to experiment with. Thanks again for this excellent recipe.

      • Courtney Inman

        Just made this for Thanksgiving and it turned out pretty good…I would suggest using chicken broth to cook the pork and I like a little spice so I will use more chiles de arbol next time. I also needed more hominy, it was a little less than what I’m used to. I added a little cumin to deepen the flavors a bit more and I cooked in a crock pot on low for 8+ hrs and the hominy held up nicely.

      • Jennifer

        I browned the meat and slightly roasted the chili, onion, garlic in a cast iron skillet and threw in a roasted tomato to make the sauce. This is an excellent recipe! Thank you!

      • low and slow

        Too bad the canned hominy is used,cooking from dried is way better in both flavor and texture.Try it you`ll like it better , also using hominy cooking broth is the secret ingredient.RANCHO GORDO dried hominy from NAPA is super good and easy.

      • Erick

        I made the Pozole for New Year. I loved it.

        I don’t think it’s what you should serve to guests not accustomed to Mexican food flavors (my experience…) but those of us who enjoy Pozole, will devour it with all the suggested condiments. I made a simple arbol sauce for anyone who wanted to up the spice as I did.

        I tripled the recipe and literally cannot stop eating it – the leftovers are awesome.

        Lastly, I want to say that having made this and three other of your recipes, your technique is exceptional. Many pozole recipes have the same ingredients; however, the technique that you have illustrated above is exceptional.

      • Mindy Schock

        I made this tonight came out great. IMO super easy. I made this for my boyfriend who never had Pazole he went back for seconds. I made my own chili sauce to add to the soup. I forgot the cabbage but had everything, yes cabbage makes a difference. This soup I can’t get in my small town in the Sierra’s & one of many food misses from living in Socal. Thank you for a great recipe. 👍👍

      • Sony M.

        Awesome recipe! So similar to my recipe with the exception that I add salt to the meat while cooking it in the pot with the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Also, I do not add the chiles soaking liquid as I always add some of the meat broth and some Mexican Oregano instead. Lastly, after I cook the hominy I add it to the broth without it’s liquid as I find it turns somewhat cloudy. Either way, so delish!

      • love

        Fantastic recipe! I made this week, using Rancho Gordo hominy that you soak and cook yourself. My butcher only sold spareribs by the half rack, so I used that with the riblets attached, since I love cartilage. and the two pounds of shoulder. I didn’t remove all the seeds from the chilies, and only removed them after soaking, so the water I used to make the sauce also had seeds, but had the perfect heat for us. Last night was day two of the posole, and it was even better than first night. I can’t wait to try it tonight. We’ve been eating it with radishes and radish greens, but tonight will try with cabbage. Also, love to add chili piquin for that extra kick!

      • Dolores

        Great recipe came out exactly the way I like it. I made a potful for the price I usually pay for one order at a restaurant.

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