Today is Mexico’s Independence Day, a grand fiesta and National holiday. We were quite surprised when our trash was picked up this morning, our regular pick up day. I thought they would take the day off. Great work ethic! This is a huge holiday here and I wrote about it previously here.
To celebrate this holiday, which actually started last night, I made a traditional Mexican fiesta dish: pozole. Perhaps you have eaten, or even heard of menudo, the traditional Mexican New Year’s Day dish (reported to cure a hangover). Pozole is menudo’s elegant cousin. Menudo is made from tripe and hominy, or pozole, as it is called in Mexico. The dish by that name does have the corn, but also has pork and, in my recipe, chicken, and best of all, no tripe! It can however include pigs feet; not yesterday though because I was making a batch that I could also can for later.
So after all that rambling here is my recipe:
Pozole for dinner and canning
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive)
2 small pork loin roasts, cut into roughly 1 inch cubes (about 3 pounds each)
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into roughly 1 inch cubes
1 #10 can of prepared hominy, rinsed and drained; or if you are really ambitious you can prepare about 13 cups from dried nixtamal, but that is a whole other deal
2 medium onions, chopped
1 entire head of garlic, peeled and sliced
10 peeled green chiles, diced into roughly half inch squares. Anaheim or Poblanos or other relatively mild chiles are good
1-2 jalapeno chiles, minced (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 bay leaf
Chicken broth, about 10-12 cups
In your gigantic soup pot, heat oil, add the meat and cook until it just loses its color. Add the onions and cook until limp. Add garlic and chiles. Add the pozole corn. Fill the pot with the chicken broth, depending on how much broth you like in your soups. Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Be careful of the salt, depending on the saltiness of your broth.
Bring the soup to a boil. This will create foam on the top; skim this off. Now you are ready to can the pozole. Fill each quart jar about three quarters full with an even mixture of the solids (meat, corn and chiles). Fill the jar with the broth to 1” below the top. Cap with 2 piece caps and can in a pressure canner for 90 minutes. Leave the bay leaf in the pot. Cook the rest of the soup for about one hour, or until the meat and the corn are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Serve the pozole in bowls with minced fresh onion, cilantro, dried oregano, lemon or lime halves to squeeze over the soup, sliced avocados, or salsa, if desired. (We prefer the first four).