Pork pozole. Photo courtesy Chef Ingrid
The Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos, is celebrated October 31, November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and elsewhere around the globe. People gather to remember deceased friends and family members, and to feast in their honor. You can learn more about it here.
Mexican food is a de rigeur (we’re not sure if the Spanish equivalent is de rigor) part of the celebration. Ingrid Hoffmann, host of the Univision’s Delicioso and author of Latin D’Lite: Delicious Latin Recipes with a Healthy Twist, sent us this recipe for pork pozole.
Pozole is a hominy-based stew, usually made with pork shoulder; some people prefer chicken pozole.
Bowls of shredded cabbage, avocado, radishes, chopped cilantro and lime wedges are set on the table so that each person can garnish his or her pozole to taste. Tortillas and Mexican beer complete the course.
RECIPE: PORK POZOLE
Ingredients For 4 To 6 Servings
4 dried whole New Mexico chiles
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons peanut oil
8 ounces boneless pork loin chops, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (substitute any oregano)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 15.5-ounce cans* white hominy, drained and rinsed
½ cup green cabbage, shredded
1 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
¼ cup radishes, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
For The Garnishes
*If you prefer, buy dried hominy and soak overnight.
1. PLACE the chiles in a heatproof medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chiles. Let stand until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid. Cut the chiles lengthwise in half and discard the stems and seeds. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée with the reserved liquid. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile…
2. HEAT 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
3. ADD the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, onion, and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chile paste (purée) and oregano and mix well.
Hominy can be purchased in cans, ready to use, or in bags of dried kernels, which need to be soaked overnight. Photo courtesy Goya.
4. RETURN the pork to the Dutch oven. Add the broth and hominy and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended and the pozole thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt.
5. SERVE: ladle the pozole into soup bowls. Allow each guest to top with cabbage, avocado, radishes, and cilantro, as desired, and serve lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
WHAT IS HOMINY?
Hominy is made from dried maize (corn) kernels which have been treated with an alkali (such as limewater) in a process called nixtamalization.
After treatment, the kernels are more easily ground, nutritional value is increased, flavor and aroma are improved. Hominy is then used in the production of tortillas and tortilla chips (but not corn chips), tamales, hominy grits and many other foods.