September 22, 2021 — Easy
Pozole is a hearty soup from Mexico, made distinctive by the essential inclusion of whole nixtamalized corn kernels (hominy). The corn swells on cooking to create tasty, meaty kernels. Pozoles always include slow braised pork, but chicken is added in some recipes. This is a green pozole, but they are also red and made with tomatoes and red chillies.
Pozoles are a celebratory dish in Mexico and usually served with an abundance of accompaniments including totopos (tortilla chips), onions, radishes, and chillies. The idea of adding garnishes to thick soups is very Mexican, however, I prefer to serve some of the garnishes with a green salad in a separate bowl, rather like the American tradition of serving soup with salad. Don’t worry if you have soup left over, it keeps well and makes an excellent sauce for a chilaquiles breakfast the next day.
Being a Mexican dish, a few ingredients will need to be purchased online.
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125g dried pozole corn
650g rolled shoulder of pork
2 lt water
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
3 whole garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
85g pumpkin seeds
302g tin of tomatillos drained
100g mixed greens herbs including sorrel, parsley, spinach, basil
1-2 green chillies – with or without seeds depending on heat
2 tsp dried epazote
Salad ingredients for garnish such as:
Raw sliced (mild) onion
Chopped green chillies
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Serve with totopos (cut dried tortillas deep fried)
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This recipe is adapted from one that appears in The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy. However, she herself adapted it from a book she found in Mexico. So, I have no compunctions about its origin or ownership. Besides the soup is too delicious to worry about such things. No doubt much has been lost in translation, notably, unless you grow wormwood in your garden, you will need to use dried epazote. More critically is the axoxoco, the main green leaf used in the soup. It’s a wild sour-grass, which gives a clue to its flavour. Diana Kennedy suggests using sorrel instead. However, even this is difficult to get hold of, unless it grows in very large clusters in your garden. I have therefore suggested other green leaves to add and which, when seasoned with lime, may make a fair representation of an authentic pozole verde. There is only one alternative to the dried pozole corn, and that is tins of ready-cooked hominy which can be added at the end of the process. (Either way we are spared making our own nixtamalized corn from scratch, which would be the case in Mexico and how Diana Kennedy instructs us in her recipe.)
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