Red Pozole

Several years ago in Acapulco, we came across a restaurant just off the waterfront near the Zocalo. We were staying in a cheap hotel, away from the strip, and we walked into this establishment because it was full of locals and seemed lively.

The menu had only a few items: mostly tamales and pozole. I had no idea what pozole was, but most of the patrons seemed to be enjoying a hearty soup with a number of accompaniments: radish, ground dried chilis, chopped lettuce, and avocado. We somehow figured out what they were having, and I was introduced to pozole verde.

Upon returning to the states, I immediately sought out a recipe for this fantastic dish. This recipe from Epicurious is an almost perfect approximation, and I have made this soup over and over, sometimes as much as quadrupling the recipe for 20 people. It’s easy, delicious, and scales well.

Recently I developed a recipe for Red Pozole (pozole rojo) that takes much less time to make and is almost as delicious. Like my cheese enchilda recipe, this dish relies on a puree of guajillo peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, and like my chorizo taco recipe, good quality Mexican chorizo is a must.

Here is the recipe:

Pozole Rojo

  • 3 dried guajillo chilis
  • 1 dried pasilla chili
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb Mexican Chorizo
  • 1 can low salt chicken broth or other stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28oz can hominy, drained and rinsed

Heat a small dry skillet over medium heat. Toast the peppers until fragrant and soft. Remove the stems. Place the peppers, tomatoes (with juice), garlic, onion, oregano, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Remove the casings from the chorizo and brown the sausage in chunks. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a soup pot. Cook the pureed tomato/pepper mixture until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo to the pot along with the water, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the hominy to the pot, and simmer an additional 20 minutes. If the chorizo releases a large amount of fat, you may wish to skim some of it before serving.

Serve with lime wedges, chopped romaine lettuce, avocado, and fried tortilla strips.

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