New Mexican Pozole Soup


Pozole is a traditional New Mexican soup. I still remember having it for the first time in a restaurant at the top of the Sandia Mountains, near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The restaurant was not fancy, but their food was absolutely delicious, and the view was--I don’t want to say to-die-for because people have actually fallen off this mountain--but it was nothing less than enchanting, the kind forested and rocky peaks below that you only expect from CGI. In the recipe, I have included some international flavors, while still maintaining the essence of the dish.


What is it like?

- Hearty & Spicy



2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
canola oil or grape seed oil, as needed
1 onion, slice thinly lengthwise
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 tsp of each: grated ginger, curry powder, dried tarragon, red pepper
1/2 tsp of each: dried oregano, cumin powder, black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine, optional
2 jalapeños, sliced into thin rings
1/2 ham hock, optional but highly recommended
8 cups chicken stock
1 29 ounce can hominy

1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp oil. Slice the pork, salt it, and brown the pieces in three batches, or more if necessary to avoid overcrowding. (You want the pieces to have space between them so that they brown rather than steam.) Once nicely browned, set the pork aside in a bowl. Slice the onion in half, then slice each half into thin strips lengthwise and slice the jalapenos. Sauté the onion and half of jalapeno slices over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Then add all of the spices, and the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.

2. Add the pork back into the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high for about 30 seconds. Then pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, this releases the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, add the rest of the ingredients except for the hominy and reserved jalapeno. Simmer (do not boil) for about 1 1/2 hours until the pork is almost tender. Then add the hominy and reserved jalapeno, and cook for about 15 minutes, or just until pork is very tender and moist, and the hominy is also tender. Taste for saltiness and adjust if necessary, then serve.

Generally, I do not use curry powder because I prefer to add the spices individually, but it worked well for this recipe. 

The ham hock adds tremendous flavor and richness to this dish. Call around to grocery stores or a local butcher to try to find a good source.