cooking at home

Great Bowls of Fire: Pleasing pozole adapts to each eater’s taste

By / Photography By Ben Pancoast | December 04, 2015
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print

Pozole is an inexpensive and satisfying way to feed the masses. 

In my family, when everyone is gathered there can easily be 30 people waiting to be fed. An important lesson I learned over the years is that spending time together as a family is more important than anything else, so don’t let a food budget stop you from feeding a large crowd. 

This pork and hominy stew appeals to even the pickiest eaters. Children love it and the garnishes placed in the middle of the table make it so that each plate is customizable to each palate. 

The dried chiles can be found in the Mexican section of many grocery stores. If you cannot find them in your grocery, look for them in any Mexican market. 

The chiles in the recipe vary significantly in quantity. This is to allow you to choose the level of spiciness. The guajillo are more mild than the puya. (If you want more flavor and less spice, add more guajillo and use less puya.) But be careful with the chiles de árbol—they are very spicy! You will find about three in my own bowl because I love to suffer! 

Pozole Rojo

Recipe by Adriana Mojica

Serves 8

3 pounds pork (either country-style ribs or a roast cut into large chunks)
3 quarts water, plus more as needed
1 large head garlic, peeled
½ small onion, peeled
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
10–15 dried guajillo chiles (according to desired spiciness)
1–5 dried puya chiles (according to desired spiciness) 
1 large can hominy (about 6 pounds) 
El Jardín (garnishes)
3 cups shredded red cabbage
1 bunch radishes, washed and sliced
½ small onion, diced
2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
1 lime, quartered 
10 dried chiles de árbol
1 avocado, sliced (optional)

Place the pork in a large (6-quart) pot of water with 3–5 cloves of garlic, ½ onion, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes over low heat or until tender. Once cooked, dice the meat into bite-size chunks (removing any bones) and return to the pot. 

While the meat is cooking, remove the stems and seeds from the dried guajillo and puya chiles. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Place the dried chiles in the pot and allow them to soften in the water for 15–20 minutes. Once softened, place the chiles in a blender along with the remaining garlic cloves and just enough water to get the blender going. Blend until smooth. 

Place the hominy in a large colander and rinse under cold running water. Add the hominy to the pork and broth. Add water as needed if the broth is not enough to accommodate the hominy. 

Using a sieve, pour the blended chile paste into the pot. Stir the chile into the broth and taste. If you desire more spice, return the leftover paste from inside the sieve to the blender and add some of the broth back in. Blend again and pass the paste through the sieve again. 

Adjust the salt as needed. 

Bring the pozole back up to a boil and lower the heat. Cook for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve in wide and deep bowls.

Bring El Jardín to the table and allow each person to garnish their pozole as desired. 

Bold Stew Demands Bold Beer

Wondering what to drink with that steaming bowl of spicy pozole? Beer may be the first thing that comes to mind, but which one? We turned to Keith Lynn Adams, chef at Tapistry Brewing in Bridgman, Michigan, for help. He gave us three recommendations, each with strong hop profiles to allow the flavors of the pozole to shine. 

All of these beers are available at Tapistry for sampling and carryout. 

Enigma: A brown sugar double IPA with a smooth finish. Simco hops give it a piney flavor. 

Quadraphonic: This Belgian quadruple uses Pilsner, Caravienne and Munich malt. The flavor is then rounded with Belgian candi sugar and brown sugar, which colors the beer a deep red. 

Nelson’s Empire Strong Pale Ale:
A Pacific pale ale that’s hopped with Warrior and Nelson Sauvin hops. Flaked rye in this ale highlights the pozole’s heartiness. 

Tapistry Brewing
4236 Bridgman St.
Bridgman, MI
Article from Edible Michiana at
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60