In the depths of a windy, wet Appalachian winter, a spicy bowl of pozole, served with a pile of shredded cabbage, tostada, cilantro, and thinly sliced radish, can work wonders. And while there are plenty of recipes floating around online for this hominy-based Mexican soup — we were curious how Asheville’s resident corn expert, Chef Luis Martinez, likes to prepare it at home.
Luis, the founder of Tequio Foods, grew up in a small Zapotec pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico before immigrating to the US in 2005. The recipe he shares with us below, Luis explains, “was a dish reserved for special occasions, something that involved everyone in the family.” A few of those steps included shelling corn, cooking it on a live fire, and butchering a chicken or pig.
“Everybody worked and had a chore to have the meal,” he continues. “I could say it was a family project more than just a dinner. It brought everybody together and taught me as a kid to be patient and appreciate family.”
Ready to try it for yourself? Here’s what you need to get started.
Note: This recipe makes around 12 portions and could easily be halved if you’re feeding a smaller crowd.
For the soup:
- 2.5 lbs. of pork Boston butt (cut into 5 inch cubes)
- 1 lb. of pork rib cut into pieces
- 6 lb. can of hominy, rinsed and drained
- 1 white onion (quartered)
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 8 large garlic cloves (whole)
- 4 liters of water (about 17 cups)
For the adobo sauce:
- 10 clean guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 tsp. Mexican oregano
- 4 cups of water
For the garnish:
- 1 green cabbage (finely chopped)
- 1 cup of cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1 cup of radishes (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup of diced jalapenos
- 1 lemon (quartered)
- Diced avocado (optional)
- Corn tostadas
- Heat a 20-24 quart stock pot over medium heat, add the vegetable oil, and once it’s hot, drop in the meat and sear until it’s nicely browned.
- Add garlic and onions to the pot and cook until they are translucent; this might take between 5 and 7 minutes.
- Add 4 liters of water, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer so that the meat cooks for approximately two and a half hours (or until it falls off the bone). If necessary, add more hot water to maintain the same level of broth in the pot. As it cooks, use a spoon to remove the layer of foam and fat that forms on the surface.
- Once the meat is cooked, separate it from the broth. Trim off excess fat and rib bones and remove the onion and garlic from the broth and put aside.
- To prepare the adobo sauce, boil the water and soak the guajillo chiles, onion, garlic, and oregano for 25 minutes in enough water to cover them. Let it simmer until the chiles are soft.
- Once the chiles are soft, drain them and place them in the blender along with the garlic, onion, and oregano, adding a little reserved water where they were soaked. Blend until it has the consistency of a smooth sauce.
- Heat a little more oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat; add the chile sauce by passing it through a fine mesh strainer. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the broth to the simmering sauce. Let it come to a boil and then add the meat and the corn. Boil on medium heat for approximately forty minutes or until corn is soft. Season with salt.
- Serve the pozole, top it with the garnish, and eat it with tostadas.