White pozole (pozole blanco) is a traditional Mexican recipe that is prepared in some states of Western Mexico. This delicious soup has very ancient origins and is undoubtedly one of the most representative dishes from the country.
We have made this homemade version for white pozole with ingredients that we found where we live (Italy) and the result was an exquisite and authentic pozole that we served to celebrate Mexican Independence Day: ¡Viva México!
Pozole -sometimes spelled posole-; is a Mexican traditional dish which its origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times. At that time, the dish was mainly prepared in the Aztec ceremonies and was only consumed by the Emperor and the highest-ranking priests.
This dish was as special and significant as it was gruesome; because in the preparation was used the flesh of sacrificed warriors in the rites of the Aztec culture.
With the arrival of the Conquest in Mexico, the spaniards changed these practices and impose the natives to prepare their dish using other types of meat; such as pig and poultry, which are is the most common types of meat for white pozole to this day.
What kind of corn to use for white pozole?
Traditionally, the corn (hominy) used to prepare pozole blanco is one called cacahuazintle. This type of corn is originally from Mexico and has a large white grain, perfect for this type of soup.
Unfortunately, this type of corn is not so easy to find abroad. So my recommendation is to use the peruvian mote corn that looks and tastes a lot like Mexican hominy. Said corn can be found at many Latin American online stores.
Pre-cooked canned hominy is commonly used as a substitute for pozole blanco too. And is also a good way to accelerate the preparation of this soup since you won’t need to soak the corn overnight but only cook it together with the meat. There are several brands you can find in Amazon or Mexican online stores, the one in the photo below is what I often use:
- The meat most used to prepare white pozole is pork; although chicken is also used in some states.
- Cuts vary, but traditionally a whole pig’s head and some fatty cuts are used. Like the belly, ham and even the feet and skin which adds an amazing flavor.
- If you want white pozole to have less fat, you can add pork tenderloin, which is a lean meat and less flavorful than other cuts, but you can also make a combination of both types of meat.
How to serve pozole blanco
White pozole is served with different extra toppings that depend on the zone or region where it is prepared. The most traditional sides are chopped onion, sliced radishes, lettuce or cabbage, chile de arbol oil, and lime juice.
But actually, many other ingredients make their appearance too; for example: chicharrones, fresh tomato, dried oregano, queso fresco, avocado. And even shrimp and sardines. Also, is very common to serve pozole blanco alongside with tostadas (fried tortillas) and fried potato tacos on the side.
A PERSONAL NOTE: A grew up eating pozole blanco. My grandma Elvira owned a cenaduría (a sort of diner) and her recipe was so famous that even to this day, people still talk about it. My mother loved this soup with lots of peanut salsa, and in my family runs the story that I love it too because she ate too much of it when she was pregnant with me.
I knew, since I was a kid, how to make white pozole and pozole seco (dry pozole, another version of white pozole from Colima). So, the recipe I am sharing with you today, besides being my favorite, is also in my opinion, the best out there.
How to make white pozole
The night before, put the corn to soak in plenty of water. The next day you will notice that corn has softened a bit. Discard the soaking water and wash the corn thoroughly.
Discard the little brown “heads” on the corn. If you want the kernels to open (like a flower) then you need to “de-head” the kernels. De-heading means to pick off those little tips (using your fingers) and is mostly a time consuming step since you have to do it one by one.
You can also skip this step, it won’t compromise the flavour but only the soup texture. Or, if you using canned pre-cooked hominy, you can just rinse it with cold water and continue with the recipe.
Place corn in a large pot and cover with about 2-inch (5cm) of water. The pot need to have the sufficient capacity for the corn, plenty of water and the meat. If you don’t have a large pot you can use two medium instead.
Cook the corn for about 3 hours over medium heat, the time will depend on the type of corn you using (mexican hominy cooks faster than peruvian).
Meanwhile, place onions, garlic and spices (cumin, pepper, bay leaves, oregano) and 2 tablespoons of salt into a blender. Add 2 cups of water (or chicken stock) and blend for about 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and set aside.
After three hours the corn will start to “bloom” and you will notice because most of the kernels will be popping and the broth will have a thick consistency. If necessary (and you will find out in the next step) add more water.
Wash throughly the meat, then pat dry it and add it all to the pot. Pour in the onions mixture and, if neccesary, add more water to cover all ingredients and to allow the meat to cook evenly .
With the heat at medium-low, cook for about two to three hours or until the meat and hominy are very tender. Add salt to taste.
Remove the meat carefully, place it in a container and cover it. If the corn kernels still feel a bit hard, you can continue cooking without the meat inside, in any case, the flavor is already well integrated. Just remember to always adjust salt if you add a little more water.
Once hominy becomes very tender, pozole blanco will be ready. You can serve it on a deep plate topping with meat and your favorite ingredients like chopped onions, radish, sauce, lettuce, etc.
How To Store
If you have leftovers you can place them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can also freeze white pozole in containers and store it for up 4 months.
Pozole can also stay outside the fridge, you just need to boil it for about 10 minutes at low heat. Then, cover it and do not stir or mix until the next day. You can do this for several days but always follow the recommendation to not stir it or mix after has been boiled.
- De-heading the corn kernels is the most tedious part of this preparation. I usually do it while watching something on TV.
- If you don’t have a large pot you can use two medium ones to make pozole blanco.
- The consistency of the soup depends on how much water you add during the cooking process. Some people like it with a soupy almost-liquid consistency. Me on the other hand, like it with a very thick and gravy-ish texture.
- To make the soup thicker, smash some corn kernels against the sides of the pot using a large spoon.
- If you live in Italy you can buy pancia (belly), arista (loin), braciole (chops) and costolette (ribs), as well as cotica (pork skin) to make white pozole.
White pozole (pozole blanco)
- 2.2 lb Cacahuazintle corn or peruvian mote corn (or 3 lb canned hominy)
- 2.2 lb pork belly (a whole piece)
- 2.2 lb pork tenderloin (a whole piece, optional)
- 1.1 lb pork ribs (cut in big pieces)
- 1.1 lb pork skin (cut into large pieces)
- 1 medium white onion (cut in quarters)
- 1 garlic knob
- 1 tsp whole cumins
- 1 tsp pepper grains
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp dy oregano
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped onions
- Sliced radishes
- Dried oregano
- Limes (juice)
- Mexican chili oil
prepare the hominy
- The night before, put the corn to soak in plenty of water. The next discard the soaking water and wash the corn thoroughly.
- Discard the little brown “heads” on the corn. This step is optional, please read notes.
- Place the corn in a large pot and cover with 2-inch (5cm) of water.
- Cook the corn for about 3 hours over medium heat, the time will depend on the type of corn you using (mexican corn cooks faster than peruvian).
make the recaudo
- Meanwhile, place onions, garlic and cumin, pepper, bay leaves, and oregano in a blender.
- Add 2 tablespoons and 2 cups of water (or chicken stock). Blend for about 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and set aside.
- Wash throughly the meat, then pat dry it and add it all to the pot.
- Pour in the onions and spices mixture then add more water to cover all ingredients and to allow the meat to cook evenly.
- Cook at medium-low heat from two to three hours or until the meat and hominy are very tender. Adjust salt to taste
- Remove the meat carefully, place it in a container and cover it. If the corn kernels still feels a bit hard, you can continue cooking without the meat inside.
- Once hominy becomes very tender, pozole will be ready. You can serve it on a deep plate topping with meat and the toppings suggested.
- If you want the kernels to open (like a flower) then you need to “de-head” the kernels. De-heading means to pick off those little tips (using your fingers) and is mostly a time consuming step since you have to do it one by one.
- You can also skip de-heading the corn, it won’t compromise the flavor but only the pozole texture. Or, if you using canned pre-cooked hominy, you can just rinse it with cold water and continue with the recipe.
- If you don’t have a large enough pot you can use two medium pots or half the recipe.
- The consistency of the soup depends on how much water you add during the cooking. Some people likes their pozole to have a soupy-almost liquid consistency. Me in the other hand, likes more a thick and gravy-ish pozole. So basically is up to you.
- The liquid from the pozole should be a little thick; if this is not the case, you can smash some corn kernels against the sides of the pot using a large spoon.
- If you live in Italy you can buy pancia (belly), arista (loin), braciole (chops) and costolette (ribs), as well as cotica (pork skin).