Wikipedia says that Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew made from hominy that’s been cooked with meat and seasonings and topped with garnishes, such as avocado, cabbage, radishes and lime juice. It’s like a hearty, Mexican corn chowder. I actually spotted a recipe on Elise’s site awhile ago and knew I had to make it for Tom. He has an unnatural attachment to Mexican cuisine. Since I always lose them, I never printed out the recipe, but saw some dried pozole at the market and decided to wing it.
While you can use canned hominy, it has a much softer texture than the dried pozole kernels. You can get these online or at Hispanic markets, some grocery stores and Whole Foods. They’re like beans in that you have to soak them overnight, but their texture is much meatier and provides a nice chewiness to the dish.
They soak overnight and then stewed with dried chile de arbol and ancho peppers, making a nice, spicy broth. Just add a bit of cream to thicken it up, then top with your favorite garnishes. I used what I had on hand — avocado, red onion, thinly sliced skirt steak (leftovers!), sour cream, lime juice and cilantro. The garnishes are really the fun part. You can set them all up on the kitchen counter and have everyone assemble their own pozole the way they like it. It’s kind of like taco night with a spoon.
And it was delicious with all of the different textures and flavor contrasts. I think someone will be begging me to make it again quite soon.
Spicy Pozole with Steak, Avocado & Lime
The pozole needs to soak overnight and cook for 2 – 3 hours, so make sure you give yourself enough time. This is more of a Sunday supper than quick weeknight dinner.
12 oz. dried pozole (looks like this and is available at hispanic markets, online and Whole Foods)
5 cups chicken stock
5 dried chiles de arbol (this was super spicy, go easy or omit if you don’t like as much heat)
1 dried ancho chile (these are more mild, so don’t omit)
2 oz. cream
For the garnishes:
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. grilled skirt steak, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, thinly sliced
lime wedges from 2 limes
Also good for garnish:
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
Queso Fresco, or Cotija cheese
Soak the pozole overnight in a pot. 3 hours before you want to eat, drain the water from the pot, then add the chicken stock and dried peppers (whole) and bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the pozole has softened, it’s ready to eat. You’re looking for a slightly chewy texture. The kernals should be soft, but not at all mushy. Pick out any large chile pieces or stems then stir in the cream and remove from heat.
Place all of your garnishes on the table, ladle the pozole into deep bowls and let everyone pile on their own toppings to taste.