Pozole or posole is a corn and meat soup that is hearty and fully seasoned with spices and herbs that is topped with radishes, shredded cabbage, and cilantro or chopped green onions. Pozole has three varieties, blanco (white), rojo (made from dried and mild chili and spices) and verde (made from tomatillos, herbs and spices).
Traditionally, pozole is made from pig’s head and requires so much labor to make. It is prepared and consumed on special occasions like weddings, birthdays, baptism and holidays. But since, beef stew meat is rather easier to find in this part of the world, let’s use that instead. I am sharing with you the red version of pozole. Meat is simmered low and slow in beef broth and spices until fork tender. Then, salsa roja and hominy are added and bring back to simmer so that all the big and bold flavors can marry to the meat.
Did you know that the word pozole came from Náhuatl word tlapozonalli which means boiled or fluffy, referring to the corn, or the Cahíta word posoli which means cooked corn. Since corn or maize were sacred for the Aztecs, this dish is usually served in special occasions and pretty much in ritual ceremony with a gruesome history. Aztecs used human flesh in the dish as part of their ritual communion. But when the Spanish conquistadores brought and introduced pork and resembled that “human flesh” flavor they started using it and there were no ritual involved. Well, anyway. That was very interesting. Let’s stick to pork or beef, shall we and let’s get started here. Any minute.
By the way. I used my salsa roja recipe from my previous post here. https://pixiepretzelelektra20420.wordpress.com/2021/03/05/how-to-make-salsa-roja-a-k-a-enchilada-sauce-from-scratch/
This recipe makes a small batch maybe good for 4 people. Also, serves 2 plus good for leftovers the next day.
Here are the ingredients:
1-1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 12” pieces
3 cups beef broth
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1” ginger root, sliced in round about ¼”-1/2” thick
1 tsp. salt
1 can white hominy, drained
1 cup salsa roja from previous post, or your favorite canned enchilada sauce, or homemade
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. granular swerve, or sweetener of choice
1 tbsp. masa harina*
¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, or sour cream, or Mexican crema
For serving, shredded green cabbage, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, green onions, sliced raw red onions, serrano or jalapeno peppers, tortilla
- In a 3 qt. saucepan, place beef and cover with cold water. Place pan on a high heat and bring to a boil. Notice the scum on the boiling water. Drain beef, discarding the boiling water. Rinse beef and saucepan. Return meat in the saucepan and cover with beef broth. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, sliced ginger and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 2 hours or until meat is fork tender.
- Remove and discard bay leaf and ginger root. Add drained hominy, salsa roja, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, add 1 tbsp. masa harina and Greek yogurt. Stir to combine. Add mixture in the stew. Turn the heat to medium high. Stir and cook until thickened.
- Serve with shredded cabbage, radishes, tortilla, chopped green onion or cilantro.
If masa harina is not available, substitute 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour.
I served this stew with homemade sourdough tortilla but store-bought tortilla will work too.