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.

Bowl of Authentic Red Pork Pozole With Garnishes

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.

In Mexico, it’s typically served for special events like birthdays, family, reunions, and Christmas and New Year parties.

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

Salt is Important

The recipe calls for 3 tsps. of salt to start. This is the minimum. We start with this quantity of salt so that you can adjust it to your preferences. Most likely you will want to add more. Add 1/2 tsp. at a time then stir well. Taste. Continue until the flavors pops and the level of saltiness is just right for you.

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. It is common to enjoy pozole with tostadas or corn tortillas too.

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, chopped spicy arból chile, and lime wedges. 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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4.26 from 75 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

Equipment

  • Large stock pot
  • Soup pot
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen knife
  • Blender
  • Large strainer
  • Kitchen Spoons
  • 6 garnish bowls

Ingredients

Pozole

  • 3 pounds boneless pork leg or pork shoulder
  • 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 + to taste 3 tsp. is the minimum. Add 1/2 tsp. at a time then stir well. Taste and repeat until the desired flavor is reached.

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

      Optional:
      • You can add a pinch of cumin to deepen the flavor of the broth.
      • You can substitute 2 cups of water for 2 cups of chicken stock to enrich the flavor.
      “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
      • Melissa

        Hello! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Have you ever substituted Cayenne for guajillo chiles? If yes, could you tell the difference?

        • Joseph G. Smith

          I used a pork tenderloin, cut the two pieces into 6 total pieces, and browned it before putting it in the pot. Browning it, then deglazing the pan and adding that to the broth really makes a difference. You could also use pulled pork from a smoked pork butt. I’m trying that next. And I cooked both the pork and the hominy in chicken broth. It was incredibly good, thanks so much for the authentic recipe!

        • Joshua

          Cayenne would be WAY too hot in place of guajillo, Guajillo has an earthy flavor with an almost raisin like sweetness. Cayenne is one note, and that note is “hot”. You could sub dried New Mexico red or just leave out Guajillo and put in more Ancho if you want more heat and smokiness, or you could use dry pasilla chilies. I love guajillo and I think it’s worth it to find them.

      • LILIANA ALATORRE-GATZIOS

        The best pozole!Became our tradion for Christmas and Birthdays. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

      • Claudia Carrasco

        I was waiting for a cold day to make Pozole and this was the day. I’ve made it once before and it was good but this recipe is delicious. It’s certainly not a quick soup to make but oh so worth it. I’m Mexican-American but I did not grow up eating Pozole, only menudo and Caldo de Res. I’m taking some to my parents tomorrow since they have never tried it before. I know they’re going to love it! I feel lucky to have found this recipe! Thank you from the bottom of my soup pot!😋

      • darcy

        great recipe. However, it’s not a big deal to cook dried hominy and the texture is the best! I find the canned version disappointing – especially, as many have described this dish as a labor of love. It is and using dried hominy makes it superb.

      • Tina M Johnson

        I made this for 10 last night and it was such a hit! Fun to make, fun to serve and eat. Thank you.

      • Denise

        Serve with tostadas

      • Steph

        HELP!!! I followed this recipe exactly and i am left with no flavor, oily consistency, and a huge mess! What can i possibly do to doctor up this “labor of love”? I am going to let it set in the fridge overnight so i can scrape all that fat off tomorrow.

        After reviewing the recipe in my mind, it remains unclear where ANY flavor is to come from. The broth called for no salt. The chilies are bitter and bland. Hominy is bland as it is. I really enjoyed the process but am sorely disappointed with my result.

        Any help is much appreciated!

        • Heather

          This pot of soup has half an onion, three cloves of garlic, a full tablespoon of oregano, and ten reconstituted chilis pureed in it! (Plus two tsps of salt added towards the end, as noted in the recipe.) Not to mention the flavorful pork broth, made with another half-onion, a whole head of garlic, and all the lovely flavor you get from simmering meat. Did you maybe use old chilis (which might taste dusty, bitter, or bland), or skip the ‘seasoning’ stage of the chili mixture (which really enriches the flavor)?

          Mine ended up oily, too (due to the cut of meat I chose + the tablespoons of olive oil from the seasoning stage), but it was easy enough to skim when cool.

        • Stephanie

          Use chicken stock instead of water and season with salt as you go. I put salt and cumin and garlic powder on the pork and seared it before covering it with water to cook.

      • Matthew R Caldwell

        This is a great recipe. So, so good. A few changes I made:

        Brown the pork. Much more flavor in the broth. 3 mins on every side after salting. Then add the water as directed and be sure to scrape the good stuff!

        Dont drain the hominy AFTER cooking. If you have a few cups left, keep it. The recipe wasn’t clear on this point but you’ll want the extra starchy water. Add the chili concentrate to the hominy, water and all.

        We really liked adding crema and tostadas to our garnish, along with the radish, lime and cabbage. You MUST have the cabbage, lime and radish. The lime brings it together and the cabbage and radish bring a crunch and freshness that is needed. We also tried fresh cilantro but didnt like the extra earthiness it brought.

        Also, I didnt add the recommended salt. I just salted everything as I went and added at the end as needed.

        See what you think and make it your own! Not hard but laborious.

      • Looks delicious and easy to make, love all photos you posted, I’ll try your recipe and see how it works, thanks for sharing Dauglas!

      • Raul

        I often do not follow recipes, I usually take them as a source of ideas and go my own way. I could not come up with an idea on how to deviate from this one, so I followed it. To the letter. Next time I make this, I’m following the recipe! This is great. Wow! I grew up with menudo, this was my first pozole. Thanks

      • Michael H.

        Recipe looks great! Thank you for not putting cumin in it!!!! Add avocado and jalapenos to the toppings list and I’m in!!

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