Mains · Recipies · Soups

Red Pozole

Semi-Traditional Red Pozole

For years, as a substitute or regular teacher, I would hear my students talk about this amazing, belly-warming soup. I was afraid to make it for a long time because I thought it would be too spicy for me – it’s full of peppers! But when I finally got the courage to try it, I was surprised to find out that it really isn’t that spicy at all! It is full of flavors, and it may taste spicy at certain points while it’s cooking, but once you add those delicious puffy hominy corns they soak up or temper anything that might burn your tongue.

I also want to note that you can totally buy red enchilada sauce and skip that whole step. Personally, I think there is a MAJOR taste difference when you do that. So, I’m going to include the instructions for making a homemade red sauce. It really doesn’t take that much time and you’ll notice it in your finished soup. This recipe makes a lot, so be ready to share or freeze some for the next cold winter day!

RED POZOLE RECIPE
(makes 8 servings)

THE SAUCE
Please use this recipe: https://www.daringgourmet.com/enchilada-sauce-mexican-red-chile-sauce/
I could type it in here, but it would just be straight plagiarism…

THE MEAT
6 large chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

SOUP STUFFS
1 large yellow onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups Homemade Enchilada/Red Chile Sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans stewed tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoon Mexican oregano << not the same as Italian Oregano!
2 bay leaves
4-5 chopped carrots
2, 25-oz cans white hominy, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup ketchup (optional)
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (optional)
2 tablespoons masa harina (optional)
dark chocolate, to taste

TOPPINGS
2 limes, sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Green cabbage, thinly sliced
Tortilla chips, crumbled
Avocado, sliced
Crumbled cotija cheese

THE CHICKEN
Before adding them to the slow cooker, I recommend cutting the chicken breasts in half lengthwise – cutting across the grain of the muscle. You’ll be shredding it later, and the shreds are just too long if you don’t cut them. One carefully placed cut should be enough. You can pre-cook if you like, but I just put them in the crock pot raw.

THE SOUP
Add the onion, garlic, chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, carrots, and all the spices (cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt). Cook for 4 hours on high heat setting.

Once the chicken is tender enough to pull apart with two forks, gently remove the pieces from the slow cooker to cool. This is a good time to remove the bay leaves. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into smaller bits with your hands or two forks, and return it to the slow cooker with the red soup base. Toss in the hominy, ketchup, and Better Than Bouillon if you think it needs it. Mine usually does need it. At this point I usually throw in a chunk or two of dark baking chocolate as well. If you used some in your enchilada sauce that might be enough. If not… add some more! Let everything slow-cook on high for another 30 minutes before eating.

Red Pozole just before it’s last simmer…

ASSEMBLY
A huge part of this recipe is the presentation! You can choose any or all of these crunchy, sour, salty, creamy toppings. Squeeze some lime juice into each bowl of pozole and top with cabbage, radish, and cilantro, chips, avocado, and/or cotija. Serve with additional lime slices.

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