Mexico is such a country filled with diversity on its people and flavors. Every region has its own staples of foods that make them special to visit and taste. Pozole without a doubt is a traditional dish of the center-south of Mexico as opposed of the north where I am coming from; I always enjoy visiting family in Jalisco and have that amazing pozole jaliciense in the cenadurias that you find all around the cities.
Story tells that pozole was born in Chilapa Guerrero during the XVIII century. During an important visit from aristocracy, the kitchen in preparation for the big event cooked ahead of time large quantities of nixtamal (corn preparation to make corn tortillas) but there were not enough people to help and grind it and make corn tortilla dough. Under stress and the situation that they would spoil the empty the whole grains into a big pot, added chicken, spices and herbs originating this national dish... whether this is true or not (everybody has its own version of what really happened) the country has been taking pride of the dish and making red (pozole rojo) or green (pozole verde) variations adding their own touch in flavors and texture to make it unique yet based on the same of corn, vegetable and meat.
Don't forget to serve it with salsa on the side if you are not making it verde or rojo and fresh lime wedges to make sure all flavors incorporate and give you the experience you deserve.
1 whole chicken cut in pieces (with skin, need it to flavor broth)
1/2 white onion
3 garlic cloves
4 tsp salt
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 pork loin of about 2lb
1 lb. pork leg
2 lb. whole hominy, fully cooked (can be canned but rinsed and drain)
2 tbsp mexican dry oregano
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp-2 tbsp ground chilli powder (optional and to taste)
- In a large stocking pot put the chicken in pieces with the 1/2 white onion, garlic, salt and cilantro. Cover ingredients with water.
- Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Remove from heat, take the chicken pieces out to skin them and shred the chicken. Reserve the broth you should have about 6-8 cups of it
- In a large pot put the pork loin (pork round is another option but you need a lean piece of pok that's why pork loin is the best option) and leg. Cover with water and simmer for 1 or 1 1/2 hours until fully cooked and easy to shred. Without shredding or removing the pork pieces add the hominy and simmer for another 30 minutes to incorporate flavors. Remove from heat, remove pork and shred
- Add the reserved chicken broth and shredded chicken to this pot, season to taste, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to allow all flavors to incorporate
- Serve topped with the finely chopped onion, chilly powder (or salsa verde or green as I describe below) and fresh lime wedges, tostadas, thin radish slices and shredded lettuce or cabagge
POZOLE ROJO (RED SALSA)
10 guajillo peppers cleaned, rinsed and seeded
1/2 cup water
1/4 white onion
4 garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp oil
- Rehydrate peppers in hot water for about 20 minutes. Drain and make a paste in the food processor or blender along the onion, garlic and water
- In a skillet heat the oil then add the chile paste and saute for 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- You may add this salsa when you are adding the chicken stock and shredded chicken to the pozole or serve on the side for desired heat
POZOLE VERDE ( GREEN SALSA)
2 cups shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) toasted
1-3 serrano peppers depending on the desired heat
1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
3 radish leaves (stems)
1/4 white onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
Salt to taste
- In a skillet brown the pepitas until they slightly turn brown but making sure they don't get burned. Grind them in the food processor or blender until becomes a paste
- In a pot with boiling wter add the serrano peppers and cook them for 5-10 minutes to soften, add the tomatillos and simmer for another 5 minutes. Drain
- Make a puree with the tomatillo and serrano peppers along the chicken broth, lettce, radish stems and onion.
- In a hot skillet put the oil, add the tomatillo and pepita paste and incorporate allowing to simmer for 3-5 minutes
- Salt to taste and add to pozole either when adding chicken broth and meat or serve on the side to desired heat