Any time is perfect for a batch of Pozolé!
With a little planning you can make part of this soup while you are at work, then finish it off once you arrive home. The cabbage topping can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator, the lime juice will keep everybody fresh. If you don’t have time to make totopos, you can certainly use your favorite corn tortilla chips.
I make Pozolé during the holidays for guests and especially on cool days here in Texas. Traditionally in my husband’s family, this dish is made with pork. I have used whole cut up chicken, turkey drum sticks, and even left-over turkey from Thanksgiving to prepare it. It’s just fabulous any which way you make it. If you see cans of hominy on sale, stock up! The only special ingredient here is the achioté, you’re best bet is to look at Fiesta (in Texas) or Google for the nearest latino/mexican market in your city. If I could find one in Edmonton (Alberta), I’m sure you’ll find one in your area!
- Large pot or crock pot – the bigger the better!
- Pork roast of some kind (shoulder or rump), fat trimmed.
- Canned hominy (sorta like chick peas or garbanzo) – twice as much as the pork!
- Achiote, six 1″ cubes (it comes as a brick in a box)
- Vinegar – 1/4 cup
- 3-5 Garlic cloves, whole,
- 1 whole white onion, peeled and halved
- Bouquet garni: 6 green cardamom pods, tbsp coriander seeds, tbsp black peppercorns, cilantro stems, smashed garlic cloves, 1-3 whole Serrano peppers (adjust to size and heat of the peppers, and to taste). Tie up in a sachet of cheesecloth or coffee filters.
- 1 small green cabbage, shredded
- 1 white onion (or shallots if you like the fancy stuff), fine slices
- 2-3 limes, juiced
- Optional horse radishes, sliced
- Optional avocado, sliced or diced for garnish – alternative is guacamole 🙂
- Optional cilantro, chopped roughly for garnish
- Really good option is totopos (tortilla chips made by frying fresh corn tortillas – yum yum!)
This takes a while to make, you could let the crock pot do much of the work for you. Cover the pork roast with water and add a bit of salt, bouquet garni, whole onion and the garlic. Simmer the meat until mildly cooked, this was 4 hours on high in my crock pot. Remove the meat to cutting a board. Degrease the surface of the cooking liquid with a flat spoon, you can strain the liquids to get all the little bits out and the garlic and onion to end up with a “cleaner” soup. Reserve the strained liquid and bouquet garni, add these back to the pot.
Chop up the achiote then grind up in a blender with a cup of warm water. You may need to add another cup of water after pouring out the first bit of spiced liquid, because it tends to clump up in the bottom, grind/blend some more until it’s all dissolved. Add blender contents to de-greased liquid in your pot. Turn on heat to medium-high if you turned it off to blend the achiote. Add the vinegar and salt to taste.
It’s best to wash the hominy, as with any canned beans. Add hominy (maïze treated with a lye solution) to the pot. The pork can be torn with a fork into large chucks, while removing visible fat too. Add chucks of meat to the pot. You may want to adjust the salt to taste. Stir gently to be sure the achiote is well distributed. Turn down the heat a bit. Let it simmer away for as long as you can stand it, about 30mins to 1 hour.
In the meantime you can prepare the toppings: Toss in a bowl the shredded cabbage, onion, lime juice, and radishes. The more lime juice the better! You may need more if they are small or do not carry too much juice. Option to add the cilantro here. Slice the avocado right before serving.
To serve: Ladle soup into a bowl, take a balance of hominy, broth and meat. Top with the cabbage mixture, I like to add a lot of it for the contrast in temperature and flavor. Avocado can go on last, or be eaten on the side with totopos…