During the summer when I was really young our family would visit my grandparents in Mexico where they lived in a fishing village off the Pacific called Rincon de Guayabitos. My late grandmother, Dotti made an amazing Pozole, so this dish is a nod to her. I logged many hours rearranging her pantry spices while she and my mother spent time in the kitchen. (When the lime shortage is over I promise to post her Limonada recipe.) This soup is hearty, spicy and one of the best comfort foods ever. If you are sick….this soup is so good it will make you healthy.
For Pork Pozole
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1.5 lb pork butt (bone in or bone removed and on the side) cut into 1.5 inch chunks plus bone
salt + fresh ground pepper
1 onion sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (mom’s tip: use Rotel tomatoes with diced chilies)
2 carrots sliced (or four small)
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp oregano
1 lb frozen uncooked hominy ( If you can’t find this you can use canned. You just wont have to cook it nearly as long.)
2 poblano peppers (if you don’t like spicy, use only one)
12 springs of cilantro tied together or in a sachet (if you don’t have twine or sachets you can use a metal ball tea steeper or just fish them out later) + more for topping
2 tbsp of olive oil (divided)
crushed tortilla chips
Set the oven to broil. Roast peppers on the top rack until charred on the outside (about 10 minutes) and then set aside in a Ziplock bag to steam. Once cooled remove the skin, seeds and membrane. Slice in thin strips about 2 ½ inches long and set aside, you will add them to the soup later. When I make this soup I season each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper. The pork should be seasoned more aggressively with about 1 tbsp of salt. On medium high heat, brown bite sized seasoned pork and bone on all sides in olive oil, remove and set aside. Add sliced onion to pork fat with another tbsp of olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions, they will be soft and golden with some browning, add garlic until fragrant. Put pork back into the pan with juices and add chicken stock, peppers and spices plus another pinch of salt. Bring to a slow boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bone and cilantro sachet.
Add carrots, tomatoes, big pinch of salt and hominy cook for another hour and 30 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for another 20 minutes. Check for seasoning. Serve bowls of pozole with a squeeze of lime, toppings on the side along with warm flour tortillas.
Hint: This soup is actually better the next day. If you plan to make a day ahead, reserve the zucchini until then, toss it in, while the soup warms for about 25 minutes.