POZOLE ROJO : Jalisco-Style Red Pozole With Pork
A good pozole is primarily about the nixtamal (hominy), which blossoms while it cooks with the pork and chiles and adds wonderful flavor to the broth. Like almost everything made with corn, pozole has ancient roots in Mexico and many regional variations.
This version, made with mild dried red chiles, is a favorite at fiestas and family gatherings. Serve the pozole in very large bowls, with the traditional garnishes in small dishes on the table for all to share.
SERVES 4 to 6
4 large guajillo or New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
½ cup hot water
1 head garlic, washed and halved horizontally
1 white onion, peeled and halved with root end intact
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole dried Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 (28-ounce) can white hominy with liquid
2 pounds meaty pork neck bones
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
1 pig’s foot, split
5 cups Caldo de Res or Caldo de Pollo
4½ cups water
Warm corn tortillas
Whole dried Mexican oregano
Diced white onion
Bottled hot sauce or ground hot pequín chile
Shredded lettuce or green cabbage
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chiles and toast on both sides, turning occasionally and pressing down with a spatula, until they soften and blister. Remove from the pan. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, tear them into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add the hot water and soak the chiles, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
In a blender, puree the chiles with their soaking liquid until perfectly smooth. (For a smoother texture, you can press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, if you like.)
Transfer the puree to a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add the garlic, onion, cumin seeds, oregano, and salt, and then add the hominy, pork neck bones, pork shoulder, pig’s foot, broth, and water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender. Do not stir after the first 2 hours.
Turn the cooker to the warm setting and uncover. Let the soup settle for 15 minutes. With a kitchen spoon, skim off any excess fat that rises to the surface. Remove and discard the garlic and onion. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the meats onto a plate, keeping them as intact as possible. Discard the pig’s foot. Carefully remove any small bones from the soup. Break the pork shoulder into chunks and return to the cooker. Shred the meat from the neck bones and return to the cooker. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with the garnishes at the table.