Spicy pork pozole with beans

Enrique Olvera's pozole recipe by Primary Beans

 

Deliciously comforting and nourishing, and fortified with hominy, chiles, and pork, it’s no wonder pozole is a celebratory dish all over Mexico. Here we feature techniques from Enrique Olvera. His flagship eatery in Mexico City, Pujol, has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world. We love his method of toasting the chiles and spices so that they are extra aromatic.

While we are deeply conscious about altering anything that is rooted in tradition, we wanted to honor Mexican bean varieties that could work well in this dish. Beans create a pleasant sense of contrast to the chewy hominy and tender pork, and they also make it possible to reduce the amount of meat and keep the high protein content.

NOTE: If you can’t find dried hominy, use 2 15-oz cans and be sure to drain and rinse before using.

Which beans to use? Beans with a sweet-nutty flavor like Cranberry (aka Cacahaute beans in Mexico), Flor de Junio, Ojo de Cabra, or BayoTake 'em from dried to cooked with our guide

 

The details

  • Serves: 8
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Cookware: large pot, cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, blender or food processor

 

    What you’ll need

    • 2 lbs pork shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 3 tbsp neutral oil, divided
    • 5 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
    • 4 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
    • 1-2 chiles de árbol (depending on how spicy you want it)
    • 8 peppercorns
    • 1-½ tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
    • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1 lb dried hominy, soaked in water 6-8 hours
    • ½ lb dried beans
    • 2 bay leaves
    • Toppings: thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced cabbage, chile powder, dried Mexican oregano, lime wedges

      Steps

      Cook the pork: Season pork generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sear pork in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

      Make the chile mixture:  Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add chiles and toast until aromatic, ~30 seconds per side. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with hot water to soak. Add peppercorns, cumin seeds, and oregano to the skillet and toast until fragrant for ~1 minute. Transfer to a blender. Place onion and garlic cloves on the skillet and cook until charred, rotating occasionally, ~15 minutes. Add onion, garlic, drained chiles, spices, and 2 tsp salt to the blender. Blend to a purée using chile soaking water to thin if necessary.

      Prepare the stew: Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pot used to cook pork (do not wipe clean) over high heat and once hot add the chile sauce. Stir until it turns orange, ~5 minutes. Return pork to the pot and stir in drained hominy, dried beans, bay leaves, and 7 cups water. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for 1 to 1-½ hours longer or until pork, hominy, and beans are tender, adding water as needed to keep covered.

      Serve: Discard bay leaves and add salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with toppings.  


      We imagine this with…

      It’s a meal in and of itself, but to make it a dinner party: chips and guacamole with pomegranate seeds; green salad with persimmon, queso fresco, and toasted nuts.

       

      Slightly adapted from Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon Press, 2019).

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