Red pozole is one of those dishes that tastes even better when you reheat it the next day. This is a meal that is usually prepared for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. It is common to find it sold at cenadurías, restaurants where typical Mexican dishes are sold. There are many types of pozole, including green and white variations, and some are even made with chicken and shrimp. Nevertheless, red pozole is the all-time favorite. ~Mely Martinez
Reprinted from The Mexico Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico by Mely Martinez (2020) with permission from The Quarto Group. Click here to purchase your own copy.
For the Soup
- 4 quarts (3.8 L) water
- 2 pounds (900 g) pork shoulder, cut into cubes
- 1 pound (450 g) pork spare ribs or baby back ribs
- 1 white onion, cut into quarters
- 8 large cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cans (15 to 15.5 ounces/425 to 439 g each) white hominy, drained and rinsed
For the Red Sauce
- 5 guajillo peppers, sliced open, seeded, and veins removed
- 5 ancho peppers, sliced open, seeded, and veins removed
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable or canola oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
- 1 1/2 cups (175 g) finely chopped white onion
- Crushed dried piquin peppers
- 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
- Dried Mexican oregano
- Corn tostadas
- Limes, cut in wedges
- Diced avocado
- Pozole is traditionally made using parts of the pig’s head, as they add a lot of flavor, but you can use other cuts of pork that contain bones and fat to achieve similar results.
- To make the soup: Add the water, pork shoulder, spare ribs, onion, and garlic to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Season with the salt when the meat is almost done cooking. While cooking, use a ladle or slotted spoon to skim off the foam that forms on the surface.
- Remove the pork shoulder and spare ribs from the pot, trim any excess fat, and remove any bones. Remove and discard the garlic and onion from the broth. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. Shred the pork with two forks and return it to the pot.
- While the pork cooks, make the red sauce: Soak the guajillo and ancho peppers in just enough water to cover them for 25 to 30 minutes until they are soft.
- Add the peppers, garlic, onion, and oregano to a blender, along with about 1 cup (240 ml) of the cooking broth or water. Blend until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sauce and salt. Constantly stir the mixture, being careful as it may splatter. Reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Using a strainer, add the sauce to the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and gently simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the white hominy and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until all the ingredients are heated through.
- Serve the pozole in large Mexican soup bowls and place the garnishes in serving dishes for everyone to add to their own bowls.