Pozole Rojo is a traditional Mexican dish that will really wake up your taste buds. It’s a stew made of pork, dried chiles and hominy. Although it can also be made with chicken or vegetarian style if you like.
Pozole is one of those “good for the soul” dishes. It has a flavor combo that’s hard to beat. Although, I’m partial to Mexican cuisine, if you haven’t tried it yet you should!
It’s rich, cozy and got a kick! Spicy food is my jam! If you’re not a fan of spicy you can just tone it down on the chile de arbol or leave them out completely.
I’ve heard that certain people eat Pozole Rojo on Christmas or Christmas Eve as a tradition. I eat it all year round but now that I think of it that sounds like a lovely tradition.
What is Pozole Rojo?
Pozole Rojo is a traditional Mexican dish made of pork, broth, dried chiles, spices and hominy. Sear the pork then simmer it until tender with the other ingredients.
Chicken can be used instead of pork. To make the pozole vegetarian leave out the meat and use vegetable broth.
It is typically garnished with thinly sliced cabbage, radishes and lime. Other toppings are sometimes added like avocado, cilantro or tortilla chips.
Pozole simmers for about 2 hours before being ready to eat. It depends on the size of the pork. Serve this dish hot. Pozole Rojo is naturally gluten free.
Can I freeze Pozole Rojo?
Yes, absolutely! Pozole freezes beautifully. Cool the pozole down completely then store it in an airtight container.
Freeze the Pozole Rojo for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge for 1-2 days then heat it in a pot over the stove top. Once you’ve thawed the Pozole Rojo do not re-freeze it.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Pork Shoulder – This cut of meat is delicious and a bit fatty
- Onions – Onions give great flavor to any soup
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is best here
- Kosher Salt – Salt brings out the flavor in all the ingredients
- Black Pepper – I prefer course ground pepper
- Cumin – This gives the pozole a little smokey flavor
- Oregano – I usually prefer fresh herbs but I like to use dried oregano
- Hominy – Hominy comes from yellow or white maize, essentially field corn. Check out Food Network’s post for more info about it
- Guajillo Chile – A dried non-spicy chile with lots of good flavor
- Chile de Arbol – A dried very spicy chile with great flavor
- Chicken Base – I like to add a bit of chicken base for an extra depth of flavor. This one is my favorite
- Bay Leaf – I add bay leaf to pretty much all my soups, pozole is no different
- Cabbage – Thin sliced cabbage on top of Pozole Rojo for some crunch
- Lime – A squeeze of lime into your bowl of Pozole Rojo is the best
- Radish – Thin sliced radishes are a tradition and really delicious on top of pozole
- Cilantro – An optional pozole topping
- Avocado – An optional pozole topping
Equipment you’ll need
- Dutch Oven – The Pozole Rojo will need to simmer for hours
- Food Processor or High Speed Blender – After the peppers are boiled then they need to be blended
- Sharp Knife – For cutting veggies and meat
Tips for the best Pozole Rojo
- Use pork shoulder for the best flavor
- Simmer the pork long enough that it gets tender. Nobody wants chewy pork in their pozole
- Make a big batch then freeze some for later use
- Don’t go easy on the salt
- I suggest using the peppers in the recipe. Most local grocers should carry them, even Walmart. If you try using something else then it won’t taste the same.
- It’s a great Christmas Even meal
- FYI This will stain your Tupperware or ceramic dishes from a potter
How to make Pozole Rojo
Heat a Dutch oven over medium – high heat, drizzle in some oil then add the seasoned pork chunks. Sear the pork for several minutes until golden brown then stir around and continue to sear until brown all over.
Remove the stems and seeds from the dried peppers. Begin boiling the peppers in a small pot of water for about 10 minutes then blend them in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Remove the pork from the pan then add a little more oil if needed. Sauté the onion over low – medium heat until it comes translucent then add the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Put the pork back in the pot then add the chicken stock, blended peppers, bay leaf and hominy. Simmer the pork for 2-3 hours checking tenderness every 45-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage, radish and cut limes. Set aside until serving pozole.
Once the pork is tender then adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve the Pozole Rojo hot and add toppings. Enjoy!
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- Dutch Oven
- food processor or blender
For the Pozole Rojo
- 2 lbs pork shoulder cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt divided
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp oregano dried2
- drizzle olive oil
- 1 large onion small dice, about 2 cups
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 2 qt chicken stock
- 2 bay leaf
Dried Chile Blend
- 12 guajillo peppers stemmed and seeded
- 5-8 chile de arbol
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups cabbage finely shredded
- 8 radish thinly sliced
- 3 limes cut into wedges
Making the Pozole Roja
- Mix together the cumin, salt (only 1 tsp), pepper and oregano. Season the pork cubes with it
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium – high heat until very hot then add a drizzle of olive oil, wait 10 second then add the pork. Let sear for several minutes until golden brown then stir and continue searing until browned all over
- Remove the pork from the Dutch oven and set aside
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the same pan then add the onions over low – medium heat until translucent
- Stir in the minced garlic and a pinch or two of salt then cook for 1 more minute
- Add the pork back into the pot along with the chicken stock and bay leaves. Stir in the pepper blend and hominy, cover and simmer about 2 hours
- Once the pork is tender check the seasonings and adjust if needed (more salt, etc.)
- Serve hot and top with cabbage, radish and lime
Making the Pepper Blend
- Seed and stem the guajillo peppers then add them to a small sauce pot with the chile de arbol and water and a couple pinches of salt
- Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 10 minutes
- Pour the whole mixture into a blender and blend until smooth
- Thinly slice the cabbage, radishes and cut the limes into wedges. Set aside until needed