Cross-posted from the official The World in a Skillet website.
When we initially started work on The World in a Skillet, we wrote a lot of great material, but it quickly became obvious that if we were to include everything we had originally hoped to include, no one would be able to lift the finished book. This is a recipe that didn’t make it into the book from one of the subjects in our chapter on Mexico.
Pozole has been a part of the Mexican diet since pre-Columbian times. While “pozole” is the name of this hearty soup, the soup is based on “posole,” or hominy. While the meat and accompaniments may differ across the regions of Mexico, the posole in the soup is a constant.
As Armando Rodriguez of Mobile, Alabama, tells us, pozole is a common dish in Mexican home kitchens. He grew up on pozole and still eats it often in his home today. It’s easy to see why. This simple recipe creates a hearty stew that offers great variety and all of the components of comfort food.
The flavor of hominy is such an important part of this stew. It brings the flavors of corn, but it also brings the Southern flavor of grits to the mix. Since ground hominy is the base for corn tortillas, you’ll notice the flavor of them even if you’ve never eaten hominy.
- 2 pounds pork shoulder or loin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 head garlic, split into peeled cloves
- 1 large white onion, quartered
- 1 gallon water
- 1 (28-ounce) can white or yellow hominy corn, drained
- Cabbage, shredded
- White onion, diced
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Limes, cut into wedges
- Avocado, diced
- Mexican oregano, dried
- Crushed red chile flakes
- Corn tortillas
- Place the pork in a large stockpot along with the bay leaf, garlic, and the quartered onion. Cover the pork with the gallon of water and bring to a boil over medium--high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the pork for 2 hours.
- Strain out the bay leaf and garlic and discard. Strain out the pork and allow it to cool enough to handle, reserving the broth. Shred the pork and add the meat to the broth with the drained hominy and return to a simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Serve with garnishes so that diners can add them at the table.
If pozole blanco is a little too mild for your tastes, Armando recommends his family’s variation. Grind 1 dried ancho chile in a blender with 2 or 3 whole cloves. Add this to the pozole when you add the hominy. If this still seems mild to you, add some cayenne pepper to spice it up or a second ground ancho chile.