Red Pozole - Traditional Mexican Recipe

The recipe for pozole rojo is a classic of the Cry of Independence party, which is celebrated in Mexico in mid-September. But to say that this dish is limited to those dates is unfair, because the pozole is available all year round, throughout Mexico, as well as the green and white variants of this same soup.

The pozole is a recipe really old in Mexican culture. In fact, its name comes from "pozolli", a word from the Nahuatl language, used by the Aztecs. Its meaning is linked to the action of boiling and cooking corn.

Red pozole recipe, step by step

This traditional Mexican soup can be prepared with several types of meats, usually pork, turkey (turkey) or chicken. Regarding vegetables, the challenge (for those who are not in Mexico) is to get the typical corn grains that are used for this recipe. This grain is known as cacahuazintle corn or pozolero corn.

As with most traditional Mexican dishes, the richest versions are homemade recipes, when you know how to prepare well. Therefore, today we will explain step by step the recipe of the red pozole, in the style of the grandmother and with all the details.

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How to make traditional red pozole

Cooking recipe, step by step, to prepare the traditional Mexican red pozole, with pork.Then, we will do different things with each of both parties. First, we will chop it in cubes and reserve it for the final adornment of the pozole. To the second, we will chop it in two or three large and irregular pieces, which we will use for the cooking of the pork.
  • Then, we will peel the garlic cloves.
  • The next thing will be to get a large saucepan, where to boil the pork with water, a pinch of salt, two cloves of garlic and the pieces of the half of the onion. Make sure the pig is completely covered with water. Let it cook for an hour, preferably covered, so it does not dry.
  • We will wash the pozolero corn grains under a water tap, and then we will cook them in a large pot. Add enough water to cover them, in addition to the third clove of garlic. Counts one hour of cooking for corn, from the moment when the water is hot. You will see that with the cooking, the corn will be "busted" or "flowered".
  • While the meat and the corn are cooked, we will take advantage of to take care of other ingredients. In the case of chilies, we will wash them and remove the seeds. We will prepare a small container of very hot water, or better boiling (yes, I know, for this recipe we need a lot of water ...) and there, we will soak the chiles. We will leave them there for a few minutes.
  • We will also take care of the red tomato, or tomato, to which we will have to wash and boil (yes I had told you that for this recipe we need a lot of water?). Normally, the tomato needs little cooking time. With about 10 minutes, it will be ready.
  • Already with the cooked tomato and the Soaked chiles, we will prepare the seasoning that will give its color (and spicy taste) to the red pozole. We will need a mortar, in which we will grind the cooked tomato, the chilies with a little of their soaking water, half a teaspoon of oregano, a pinch of salt and another of pepper, a half teaspoon of cumin. If you wish, you can recover one of the garlic cloves found in the cooking pot with the pork, to incorporate it into the seasoning (you have to help yourself with a palette or a cooking spoon to "fish" it in the pot).
  • We can grind the seasoning with the mortar, in the traditional way, or with help of a kitchen robot. Mexicans who are lucky enough to have a molcajete in their kitchen (a volcanic stone mortar), can use it for this preparation.
  • We will reserve the red seasoning, and return to the meat pot, to remove the layer of fat and foam that will form on the surface of the pot where it is cooked. We can do this several times during the cooking time.
  • Second part: After the cooking of the meat and the corn.

    1. After the cooking time of the pork and corn, let's make sure the meat is very soft. If this is the case, we will "fish" from your pot the large pieces of onion and the remaining clove of garlic.We will also recover the boiled corn grains (drained with a strainer spoon) and we will change them from the pot with the meat. If they need more liquid for the pozole, they can also transfer part of the corn broth.
    2. Cover the pot with the mixture of pork, corn and seasoning, and let it cook for another hour.
    3. During cooking, we can use it to prepare the other ingredients with which we will accompany the red pozole when serving it. For this, we will wash the lettuce leaves well and cut them in julienne. We will also wash the radishes and cut them into very thin slices. Finally, we will cut the lemons in quarters or eighths. We will reserve these vegetables.
    4. After the cooking time, we will test the pozole, and correct the seasoning, without need. For this we will have at hand the salt, pepper, oregano, and even chili powder (just in case we need them, not because you have to correct the seasoning with all).
    5. The pozole can be served immediately or left to rest in the pot, to serve later, when it has taken more flavor. In any case, you have to serve it hot. It is accompanied by toast, oregano and chili powder, radish wheels, lettuce ribbons and onion cubes, so that each diner can add them to taste, on his plate. The pieces of lemon are also served so that everyone can squeeze them and season their pozole, to taste.

    Tips for preparing homemade red pozole

    • If you do not have chili powder, you can dry your own chiles in the oven or in the sun, and then spray them in a food processor, to use them. If at least you manage to get the dried chillies ready, you have less work: you will only have to turn them into powder.
    • If you want to use a bone-in pork for the pozole recipe, you can cook it and then discard it. In this way, it will be easier to peel meat from the bones. For this, remove the meat from the pot after boiling (without throwing the broth). Break or shred the hot meat, and return it to your pot. Of course, be sure to calculate the weight of 750 grams only in meat.
    • Some people first cook the corn in a pot and after an hour, add the meat, and let both ingredients continue to cook for 60 more minutes. This method is also valid, even if it involves a longer cooking of corn. I prefer to do the two simultaneous cooking and control each ingredient, especially if the meat is not yet cut and you have to shred it after cooking.
    • For a less spicy pozole, reduce the amount of chilies (but maximum in half, so as not to sacrifice the taste of the dish). If on the contrary, you are a fan of spicy, you can increase the amount of chilies, up to six.