Holy Pozole!

Pozole (pronounced po-zo-lay) is my favorite Mexican stew. It can be made with either pork or chicken, and you can even make a vegetarian version using sprouted wheat berries. When our friend Rosie offered to teach me how to make it, I was so excited!

First we headed to the grocery store to pick up some maiz nixtamal, also known as hominy. This is corn that has been treated with a weak lye solution. This treatment increases the availability of nutrients from the corn and also makes it very tasty.

Start with the biggest stock pot that you own. First rinse the corn, then cover with water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Then drain that water, add more to cover and bring to a boil again. Keep adding water to the pot and boiling for several hours, until the kernels are nice and tender and look fluffy.

From the carniceria (butcher shop) across the street, we picked up the following:

  • a piece of kind of dried out pork skin – the same kind for making chicarrones. We asked for pork rinds without a lot of fat. Go figure.
  • soup bones
  • two pork ribs cut into pieces
  • a nice hunk of pork leg, no bones, probably about a pound

This little piggy went to market

I threw it all in the pressure cooker and filled it about halfway with water, and cooked for 25 minutes. When the meat is finished cooking, make sure to pull out any hairs that were left on the pork skin – yum. Drain the corn and add it to the pork stew.

Then add the following chile and tomato mixture.

     

  • Guajillo chiles, about 6 good sized ones. Pull out the stem and shake out the seeds, then cut into large pieces and soak in water. If you want to remove all spiciness, you can also remove the veins of the chiles.
  • 3 or 4 plum tomatoes

Throw the chiles, their soaking water, and tomatoes in a blender with enough

Los ingredientes

water to blend and puree until completely smooth. Add this mixture to the corn and pork. Then add:

  • A whole onion, with a cross cut in the bottom
  • Cloves of garlic to taste
  • Salt to taste

Bring it back to a boil for about 15-20 minutes to combine the flavors.  At the VERY end of cooking, throw in a small handful of oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Then turn off the heat. When dishing up the pozole, make sure each bowl has a good combination of corn, pork and broth.

Serve with small dishes of the following garnishes. The garnishes are very important and are what really make the pozole experience come together.

  • Cabbage – sliced very thinly and treated with Microdyn
  • Minced onion (and I mean tiny – Rosie re-chopped mine to be smaller!)
  • Minced hot peppers – any kind will do: jalapenos, habaneros, etc. Use a plastic bag or a glove to protect your hand if using very spicy peppers.
  • Sliced radishes
  • Lime wedges (very important)

What is Microdyn, you ask? Since coming to Mexico, Microdyn is our new best friend for disinfecting vegetables that you intend to eat without cooking. It is an ionized silver microbiocide of 0.35% concentration.

A little help in the kitchen

I don’t know if this is bad for me to eat or not, but for the moment I’ll assume it is better than getting amoebas or diarrhea from salads. While this wonderful tool is cheap and available in every supermarket, not every cook uses it. We still avoid raw lettuce and cabbage in most restaurants unless they specifically tell us they’ve washed things carefully.

Buen provecho!

The pozole turned out delicious. I ate it for lunch, then dinner and breakfast the following day! It is a great food for hangovers, by the way. I can’t wait to try making it again in the states to see if I can get the same results.

~ Amy

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9 Comments

  1. nacho cardona said,

    August 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Haaaa yes that pozole was wonderful , the best i ever had , i was looky to be there when Emi made it , it was delisious and she made soo much i eat it the nex day and the nex , hope nex time she make it i be around again

  2. Ana, de Morelia said,

    August 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Pozole is also my favorite, just after ATOLE DE GRANO (a meatless purepecha dish). You may enjoy pozole in a great variety: batido, pozolillo, red, white, green, de cabeza (pig’s head)…

    Buen provecho!

    • nacho cardona said,

      August 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      hola Ana , tienes un buena receta para un caldo de camaron ?

      • Ana, de Morelia said,

        August 20, 2010 at 8:52 pm

        Mi receta es de caldo ranchero: freir ajo, cebolla, chile y jitomate. Echar los camarones frescos. Cuando estén colorados, poner sal, hoja de laurel, clavo, tomillo, mejorana y pimienta gorda. Echar agua y dejar que hiervan. Si hay, unas zanahorias, papas en cuadritos y pedazos de chayote. Casi para servir, unas ramas de cilantro. Sencillo pero muy sabroso.

  3. nacho cardona said,

    August 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

    ha,, muy bien , se oye bueno , me gusta mucho caldos de mariscos y pescado ( ya tengo hambre )

  4. Elaine Charkowski said,

    August 25, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Hola,
    Amy y Juan,

    Tomo un clase de espanol de College of the Redwoods. Mi profesora es Loreto Rojas, una chilena muy divertida y inteligente. Me gusta mucho Pozole. Su receta es diferente que la de mi. Voy a tratarla pronto.

    Ok now I’m switching to english. We are about to start a bicycle collective in Fort Bragg. It will be based on what the Bike Church did in Santa Cruz. I got a lot of help from Joshua Muir as far as guidance on how to start one. I already have 6 or 7 volunteer mechanics. The Fort Bragg City Council and the police department are very supportive of the idea. The Fort Bragg City Council is going to give us space in a building the city recently acquired. We may be able to get a transportation grant to buy us tools and pay one paid position for a lead person in the effort. That will be me.

    • August 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Awesome!! I hope the bike collective is a great success. I miss riding my bike here in Mexico. We brought 2 old mountain bikes with us, but the only place we’ve really used them regularly was in San Cristobal de las Casas. Otherwise it’s pretty scary in new places, on narrow roads and with loco drivers. ~ Amy

  5. Dave C. said,

    August 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

    mmm, Pozole! I miss mexico.

  6. Renee said,

    September 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Mmmm this is an amazing dish, WOW! you got a real recipe from an authentic home-gourmet! That colloidal silver, Microdyn, sounded intriguing. I remember from biochem classes, that silver is toxic to many microorganisms but completely inert to mammals. It sounds like absulutely amazing stuff: http://www.csfacts.com/pages/testimonies.html

    I am going to try the recipe using the best-fit that I can find in our local markets…


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