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My Pozole Rojo recipe is made with rustic pork, a variety of chiles, and soft hominy and beans. The flavors of the chiles make this dish come to life! It’s hearty and refreshing thanks to the avocado and cilantro garnish.
I’m a huge soup lover. Not only is it the ultimate comfort food, but there’s also something so lovely about the flavors that waft through my home as it cooks. You can catch me over the stove as soon as the temps drop or it starts to rain. I even like making it when it’s warm outside. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it — have you ever enjoyed a bowl of lobster bisque on a summer’s day? It’s the best!
Green chili chicken soup is another favorite as is Mexican albondigas (meatball soup) and my classic how to make Caldo de Res. And I can’t forget about the iconic Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup and Pozole Verde shrimp soup! Today I want to introduce you to this Pozole Rojo, or pork and hominy soup. Sometimes called Posole Rojo, it’s one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve made in a long time and it all starts with the red chili puree!
This recipe does require quite a few ingredients but trust me — it’s so worth it!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dried Guajillo Chiles – You’ll need to use a combination of several different dry chiles for your red pozole. Guajillo chiles boast a slightly sweet flavor.
- Dried Chiles de Árbol – Next up on your chiles list are chiles de arbol. They are nutty with a subtle smoky taste.
- Dried Ancho Chiles – Finally, don’t forget about your ancho chiles. They’re earthy and sweet.
- Garlic – The garlic marries perfectly with the chiles and pork.
- Pork Shoulder – Use trimmed pork shoulder and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- Salt – You only need a bit as the pork is naturally salty.
- Cumin – This warm and earthy spice is welcome in your pork pozole!
- Vegetable Oil – Use it to brown the meat! You can use your oil of choice.
- Onion & Celery – For some added veggie goodness for your red pozole. Opt for a white onion and make sure to chop it.
- Tomatoes – I like using Roma tomatoes but you can feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
- Jalapeños – Don’t forget to remove the seeds of your jalapeños. This is especially important if you don’t like really spicy food.
- Serrano Pepper – This bright and fresh pepper is a great addition to your pork pozole!
- Chicken Broth – You can also use vegetable broth if you prefer, but I love the added flavor the chicken broth brings to the mix.
- Water – You need to add a bit of excess liquid to the soup.
- Mexican Oregano – Replace with original oregano if you can’t find Mexican varieties.
- Bay Leaves – No soup is complete without some added bay leaves.
- White Hominy – You can use canned hominy for this Posole Rojo recipe. Make sure to drain and rinse it.
- White Beans – Again, go for canned, here. I like cannellini or Great Northern best.
- Avocado, Cilantro, & Limes – For your fresh garnish!
HOW TO MAKE POZOLE ROJO
- Prepare The Chiles. Break the stems off of your guajillo chiles, chiles de árbol, and ancho chiles, and remove as many seeds as you can by shaking them. Cover with boiling water — you can keep them submerged by using a plate or cup. Soak them until they become soft. It should take about 20 minutes.
- Create A Chile Purée. Place the chiles, garlic, salt, and 1 ½ cups of the water that you soaked the chiles in into a blender and purée until it becomes smooth.
- Brown The Pork. Season the pork with salt and cumin, then brown all sides of it in an Instant Pot, Dutch oven, or simply a large stock pot. Try not to overcrowd the pan — you can cook it in several batches if necessary. Add the onion, celery, tomatoes, jalapeños, and serrano pepper to the pan, then cook for another 5 minutes.
- Cook Your Red Pozole. Add the broth, oregano, bay leaves, and 1 cup of the chile purée to the mix. Cover and cook according to your preferred cooking method (Instant Pot or stove top). Once the pork is tender, stir in the hominy and white beans and allow to simmer. Take out the bay leaves.
- Garnish & Serve. Garnish your pork pozole with limes, avocado, and chopped cilantro, and enjoy!
Is Traditional Pozole Red or Green?
There are two types of pozole in Mexican cuisine: Pozole Rojo and Pozole Verde. Both are traditional and authentic! Red pozole (like this pork pozole) is made with red chiles like ancho and guajillo. Green varieties feature a rich broth made with chiles, tomatillos and cilantro like in my Shrimp Pozole Verde.
What Is the Difference Between Pozole and Posole?
There is no difference! Pozole Rojo and Posole Rojo are the same thing but spelled differently. That said, authentic Mexican recipes are typically called Pozole Rojo, so we can assume that that is the correct spelling.
Can You Overcook Pozole?
It’s important to respect the cooking times for this Posole Rojo as if you leave it for too long, the hominy, in particular, can get mushy — and no one wants that!
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking June 2015, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Pozole Rojo (Pork and Hominy Soup)
- 6 dried guajillo chiles (See Note 1)
- 4 dried chiles de arbol (See Note 1)
- 4 dried ancho chiles (See Note 1)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 lbs pork shoulder trimmed and cut 1-inch cubes
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 2 celery sticks sliced
- 2 roma tomatoes diced
- 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
- 1 Serrano pepper seeded and diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp Mexican oregano or original (Mediterranean)
- 3 bay leaves
- 30 oz canned white hominy drained and rinsed
- 15 oz canned white beans Cannellini or Great Northern
- Break the stems off the chiles and shake out as many seeds as possible. Cover with boiling water and keep submerged with a coffee cup or a plate. Soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the chiles, garlic, kosher salt and 1 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid to a blender and purée until smooth. You should have about 2 cups.
- Season the pork all over with the salt and cumin. Brown on all sides in an Instant Pot (See Note 2) on Saute setting, Dutch oven or large stock pot with oil. Do not overcrowd the pan and steam the meat, do this in several batches.
- Return all browned pork to pan, add the onion, celery, tomatoes, jalapeños and serrano chile and cook another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken broth, water, Mexican oregano, bay leaves and 1 cup of the chile puree, reserve the balance for later. Cover with lid and set IP to High Pressure for 35 minutes. If using a Dutch oven or large stockpot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Partially cover and cook, stirring the pork a few times, until tender, about 2 hours.
- Allow for Natural release if using an Instant Pot. Stir in the hominy, white beans and remaining chili puree and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes OR 30 minutes more if cooking on stovetop in a Dutch oven or large stockpot. Remove the bay leaves.
- Serve with limes, diced avocados and chopped cilantro on top.
- One (1) whole Guajillo or Ancho chile is roughly equivalent to one (1) heaping tablespoon of powder. So if I were to grind all, it would equal 10 tbsp chili powder + 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- In this recipe I give times for using an Instant Pot and Dutch oven or large stock pot, but using the pressure cooker reduces the cooking time considerably.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.