Pozole Mixteco

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    12

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

Oaxaca

By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

This pozole is a prime example of how a Mexican dish that is already perfect gets even better with the Oaxacan treatment. I know, I’m sure you swear that your mom or grandma probably makes the best pozole ever but let me elaborate. This pozole comes from the Mixteco region of Oaxaca, which is in the highlands. The actual pozole starts off as a clear pozole, but the star of this dish is a deeply flavored mole paste that you swirl into it to your liking. In short, this is a pozole and mole hybrid and will probably change your life. If you live close to a Mexican market, you might find huge bags of nixtamlized maiz pozolero (hominy) in the refrigerated section ready to go. If not, buy as many cans of cooked hominy as you need to hit pounds of drained hominy. This resulting recipe will be worth it.

Ingredients

For the Mole

  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 ancho chiles (50 g), stems removed
  • 6 pasilla chiles (50 g), stems removed
  • 10 guajillo chiles (50 g), seeds and stems removed
  • 7 mulato chiles (50 g), seeds and stems removed
  • 10 chiles de arból (10 g), seeds and stems removed
  • 8 costeño chiles (10 g), seeds and stems removed
  • ¼ cup (35 g) whole raw almonds
  • ¾ cup (100 g) diced white onion
  • cup (100 g) garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 ripe plantain (about 250 g), peeled and sliced
  • cups (215 g) chopped tomatoes
  • 6 ounces (170 g) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1⅓ cups (145 g) sliced apples
  • cup (50 g) seedless raisins
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Sea salt

For the Broth

  • pounds (2 kg) cooked hominy, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 pounds (910 g) pork spine (espinazo), sliced by your butcher
  • 2 pounds (910 g) pork knuckle (codillo), sliced by your butcher
  • pounds (800 g) pork leg (pierna), sliced by your butcher
  • 1 cup (125 g) chopped white onion
  • ¼ cup (35 g) garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 fresh hoja santa leaves (you can substitute with dried)

For the Garnishes

  • Minced raw onion
  • Lime slices

Method

Make the Mole

Heat ½ cup (120 ml) of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry all of the chiles in batches, about 1 minute each batch. The chiles should be brown and crispy but not burnt. Set them aside and discard the oil.

In the same pan over medium heat, heat another ½ cup (120 ml) of oil and fry the almonds until they puff up, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the almonds and set them aside. (All of the ingredients, separate from the fried chiles, can be piled on top of each other after frying.) In the same oil, sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Repeat this process with the garlic cloves, plantain, tomatoes, tomatillos, apples, and raisins. Add the oregano and cinnamon stick to the pile of fried items.

In a blender, working in batches, blend half of the chiles with 2 cups (480 ml) of water until smooth. Remove and set aside. Add the other half of the chiles with another 2 cups (480 ml) of water and blend until smooth. Remove and set aside.

In the same blender, combine the fried almonds, onion, garlic, plantains, tomatoes, tomatillos, apples, raisins, cinnamon, and oregano with 1 cup (120 ml) of water. Blend until pureed and smooth. Depending on your blender, you may need to add more water to make sure that the texture is smooth and uniform.

Once you have your pile of blended chile paste and your pile of the rest of the blended ingredients, heat 1 cup (120 ml) of the oil in a large pot over medium heat and wait until it gets hot. Drop in all of the chile paste and stir for 8 minutes until the paste starts to change to a darker color. Remove from the heat and set aside.

After the chile paste changes color, add the blended fried mixture to the pot of cooked chile paste. Over medium heat, mix until the rest of the ingredients are mixed in with the chile paste. Taste for salt and season accordingly. Lower the heat and mix and mix until the mole is reduced by half. This should take about 1 hour and the bottom of the pot should be visible. Keep mixing and mixing. It will all be worth it. The final texture should resemble a pasty hummus.

Make the Broth

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring 8 quarts (7.5 L) of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the hominy. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt accordingly.

Add all the meat. Keep simmering. After 30 minutes, skim all impurities that rise to the top, then drop in the onion and garlic. Boil for another 45 minutes.

Once the meat starts to become tender, about an hour later, add the hoja santa, and season with salt. Cover the pot and lower the heat to a slow simmer. Leave at a simmer for another hour. Once the meat is starting to fall apart, the pozole is ready.

Serve with minced raw onion and lime slices, adding the mole paste to your pozole to your liking.