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.
Let Us Teach You How to Make Great Pozole
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.
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.
When the pork is cooked remove it from the cooking liquid and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside.
When the pork is cool to the touch, shred it with your fingers into 1″ long pieces.
Preparing the Chile Base
Remove the stems, seeds, and veins from the chiles and discard.
Place the chiles, 3 cloves of garlic, and ½ 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. Do this in 2 batches.
Strain the blended 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.
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.
Simmer for 30 minutes until the base has thickened and darkened in color. Looking good, isn’t it?
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.
Assembling the Pozole
Now it is time to bring all of the ingredients together. Add the chile base to the 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 ½ tsp. at a time then stir well. Taste. Continue until the flavors pops and the level of saltiness is just right for you.
When the pozole is ready to serve it will have taken on a beautiful deep red color.
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.
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.
And lastly, add chile de arból for some heat with a squirt of lime to tie all the flavors together.
Here It Is, My Perfect Bowl
What do you think!
Hungry yet? Provecho!
Note: “Posole” or “pazole” are alternative spellings used to describe this dish.
Red Pork Pozole Recipe
- Large stock pot
- Soup pot
- 3 mixing bowls
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
- Large strainer
- Kitchen Spoons
- 6 garnish bowls
- 3 pounds boneless pork leg or pork shoulder
- 2 25 oz. cans of hominy drained and rinsed
- 5 ancho chiles
- 5 guajillo chiles
- ½ white onion
- 3 arból chiles optional, use if you want a spicier broth
- 3 cloves of garlic + 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 teaspoon sea salt + to taste 3 tsp. is the minimum. Add ½ tsp. at a time then stir well. Taste and repeat until the desired flavor is reached.
- ½ head of cabbage shredded
- 1 large white onion diced
- 6 radishes sliced into half moons
- 6 limes quartered
- 4 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 6 arból chiles finely chopped
- Salt as needed
- 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.
- Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles and discard.
- Place the chiles, clove of garlic, and ½ 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.
- 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.
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.
- Ladle the pozole into individual bowls to serve.
- Each person garnishes their pozole as desired.
- The final step is to enjoy!
- 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.
Bruce Starry says
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.
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 says
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.
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 says
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.
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 says
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. says
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!
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!
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.
Kevin Farley says
I used fatty boneless country style pork ribs cut into 1” chunks and added some additional fatty pork butt. I seared the ribs and butt first to add flavor. I myself love the fatty pieces, while many bothers prefer leaner meats. I also added 2 tsp cumin for added flavor. It was Wonderful! My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed it!