Our Best Recipe for Pozole Rojo

Bowl of pozole rojo topped with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, onions, and radishes

Photo: Graydon Herriott.

Temps are starting to drop, which means we’re shifting into soup mode — pozole mode, specifically. This comforting and hearty stew may typically be served on special occasions like Christmas and New Years, but we think you can make a batch any time of year and eat it throughout the week or set out a pot surrounded by all the toppings and watch your friends flock to the table. 

BTW, pozole is also an excellent way to get your feet wet nixtamalizing corn, which, while complicated-sounding, is really just like boiling pasta. (You will need some cal though.) Many people love making pozole with canned hominy, but with some extra time, we swear by the difference in flavor and texture that nixtamalized heirloom corn adds. Cacahuazintle is traditional here, but we also like White Olotillo for pozole. 

This recipe makes fresh nixtamal or maíz pozolero, combining the cook time of the nixtamal with that of the pork shoulder. While the corn here should be chewy yet have bloomed (where the end of the corn pops open in full hominy fashion), the corn can be cooked separately, and added to the pork and broth afterwards if you desire a softer kernel or you’re still getting comfortable with nixtamal. Many folks believe that corn fully blooms when the tip cap (the little tip that connects each kernel to the cob) is removed. While this speeds up the process, we believe it’s not necessary for decadent pozole. We say save yourself the hour (!) of manual removals and enjoy the corn in its full entirety. If you make your stock and adobo or chile puree ahead of time, pozole doesn't have to be a big undertaking, and its leftovers can nourish you and yours for days on end.


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