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If you’ve never tried pozole, you should! This hearty, Mexican-inspired soup is made with hominy, pork, chilies, spices, and a flavorful homemade broth. It’s easy, filling, and so good!
Pozole: An Eye-Opening Dish that’s Easy to Love
I still remember the first time I had pozole. I was visiting a friend in Santa Fe, New Mexico, just before my family and I embarked on what would turn out to be a five-year sojourn in Mexico.
One of the many things I would learn during that five-year expat experience is that there is way more to Mexican cuisine than tacos and enchiladas. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the dishes which appear on the menus of many Mexican-style restaurants in the US are often pale imitations of the real thing.
My education really began on that long ago day in Santa Fe, when my friend urged me to try something I’d never heard of before – pozole.
The server brought me a steaming bowl of red pozole, a cross between a soup and a stew, filled with hominy, pork, chilies, swimming in an absolutely fabulous broth. Just one bite, I was totally in love!
Those five years in Mexico gave me a great affection and respect for traditional Mexican cuisine. But of all the dishes I learned to make in that time, pozole is still a favorite. Maybe it’s because you always remember your first love.
But I suspect that the real reason is that pozole isn’t just easy to love, it’s easy to make too!
Easy Pozole with Hatch Chilies – It Just Got Easier
There are lots of different versions of pozole out there – red, green, white – and lots of different recipes for making them. The basic method for making pozole is pretty simple.
You’re going to make a broth with pork, onion, and spices. Then you’ll chop the meat and add it to the pot and simmer it with the broth, hominy, more onion, and more spices. If you can make soup, you can make pozole.
The labor-intensive part of the process is preparing the chilies, which is why I hadn’t made pozole in a while. When I’m trying to get supper on the table after a long workday, I just don’t have the time or energy to roast, peel, and chop chilies.
The Hack: Frozen Hatch Chilies
Recently, I was thrilled to discover the Hatch Chile Store. This online retailer sells bags of frozen Hatch chilies that are flame-roasted, peeled, seeded to give the desired amount of heat, and chopped so they’re ready to use anytime.
For me, this was a revelation! And it’s put pozole back onto the menu here at Casa Bostwick.
I just adore the flavor of Hatch chilies, which are grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. I always look forward to Hatch chili season and have written about them before and created a couple of recipes that use them. Until now, I’ve only ever had hatch chilies fresh, during that brief, late summer season when they’re available in stores. If wanted to use them in recipes, I always had to roast, peel, and seed them myself.
Having a bag of Hatch chilies ready to go in the freezer is a game-changer for me. It’s inspiring lots of new recipes, including my Easy Pozole with Hatch Chili.
Of course, if you don’t have Hatch chilies on hand, you could substitute regular canned green chilies. But if you love chilies as I do, think about laying in a supply of frozen Hatch chilies. The flavor is amazing and you can get them in mild, medium, or hot varieties.
What Do You Need to Make Easy Pozole with Hatch Chilies?
Most of the ingredients needed for this recipe are pretty basic…
- Pork shoulder
- Chili powder
- Chilies – preferably Hatch Chilies
Besides the Hatch chilies, which I discussed above, the only ingredient you might not be familiar with is hominy.
Hominy is field corn that’s been dried and then put through an ancient process called nixtamalization. It plumps up the kernels of corn, makes them wonderfully chewy, and even ups the nutritional content. If you’d like to know more, Southern Living has a very informative article on the topic.
Back in the day, making hominy was a lot of work. Today, most grocery stores sell canned hominy. Look for it in the vegetable aisle of your local market.
How to Serve this Easy Pozole with Hatch Chilies?
Once the pozole has finished cooking, you can just scoop it into bowls and served it as is, like soup or stew. However, pozole is traditionally served with a variety of toppings. Options for pozole garnishes included shredded cabbage, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, avocado, thin slices of radish or scallion, sour cream, or Mexican-style crema.
Whether you serve it plain or gild the lily with lots of garnishes, pozole is a deliciously easy dish to serve for lunch or dinner. Give it a try soon!Print
- 2 lbs pork shoulder
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 T cumin
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 T olive oil
- ½ chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 2 T chili powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp salt
- Diced cooked pork shoulder, trimmed of visible fat
- 6 cups pork broth
- 1 cup roasted, peeled, chopped hatch chiles in preferred heat level – mild, medium, or hot. (may substitute canned green chiles if desired)
- 3 15-ounce cans hominy, drained
- Lime wedges
- Chopped cilantro
- Shredded cabbage
- Radish, thinly sliced
- Scallion, thinly sliced
- Avocado slices
- Crema or sour cream
- Place pork shoulder, chopped half onion, garlic, cumin, and pepper in a deep stockpot and just cover with water (at least eight cups). Bring to a boil and skim off any foam or scum from the top. Lower heat and cover pot. Allow pork shoulder to simmer for about an hour.
- Remove the pot from the heat and the pork shoulder from the broth. Cut the pork into 1 to 2-inch chunks, trimming off visible fat. Skim excess fat from the broth and set aside.
- Place another large pot or pan on stove over medium high heat. Place oil in pot with additional ½ of chopped onion and jalapeno, cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook one more minute.
- Add chili powder, oregano, cayenne, and salt to the pan and stir to coat onions. Ladle six cups of the reserved broth into the pan and stir. Add pork cubes, hominy, and chiles into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer, covered over low heat for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust spices as desired.
- Ladle pozole into bowls and serve as is or with any of the listed toppings.