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Silvia's Pozole Rojo

Marcela Valladolid

Chef notes

Pozole, one of Mexico's most iconic dishes, was first prepared by the Aztecs hundreds of years ago. The word "pozole" has Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) origins and means "foam" (pozolli in Nahuatl). It is thought to be a description of the appearance of the cooked hominy which, when properly prepared, puffs up and opens like a flower. The type of kernel used was white, called cacahuazintle and, once cooked, gave the appearance of a beautiful white foam! These days, you can find pozole made with pork, chicken or even seafood.

Technique tip: The hardest part is cleaning the maiz of its small caps at the base. But you can skip the whole process of cooking it by simply purchasing canned hominy and adding it at the end. I highly suggest, though, that you take a field trip to the Mexican market and find some maiz pozolero. It usually comes in a bag and is wet because it's parboiled. All you have to do is remove the cap using your fingernails or, if you have access, a special metal nail used specifically for this task.


  • pounds maiz pozolero (about 4 cups), tip caps removed from each kernel (this can take up to an hour!), or 4 cups drained hominy from a can
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 head garlic, halved on the equator
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 10 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed, torn into pieces
To Serve
  • shredded cabbage, seasoned with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • sliced radishes
  • minced white onion
  • crumbled Mexican oregano
  • hot sauce or salsa macha
  • lime wedges


For the pozole:


After you clean the hominy, add to a very large pot along with enough water to cover by 4 inches (that's about 26 cups of water). Add halved onion and both garlic halves to water, cover and bring to a boil over high heat (it takes about 30 minutes to bring this to a boil). Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.


Remove onion and garlic and discard. Add bay leaves and pork butt pieces. Stir in salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer another hour.


Meanwhile, make chile puree. Place chile pieces and two cups of water in small pan and boil for 5 minutes. Transfer chiles to blender with 1/2 cup cooking liquid and blend on high until smooth.


Strain the blended chiles into the pozole pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes longer.

To serve:

Scoop pozole and pork pieces with some broth into a bowl. Top with cabbage, radishes, white onion, oregano and hot sauce. Squeeze lime over and serve.