Mario Rodriguez' Pozole
Mario Rodriguez’ Pozole Colorado (Red Pozole) Adapted from Lupe Rodriguez, Mario’s mother
Mario Rodriguez’ inheritance from his mother and grandmother includes a rich culinary heritage from both sides of his family, the skills and passion to cook beautiful food, and a treasured cooking implement.
“My Abuelita Brigida was a good cook and would sell tortillas to make ends meet. She would send my mom out to buy the treated corn (nixtamal). My grandmother would then grind the corn on her metate. Her tortillas were the best. Her metate is mu inheritance."
“My mom was in charge of cooking for her brothers. Her oldest brother, Enrique, would give her money to buy ingredients. She would tell me that since she was a little girl around 7 years old she wanted to play, so a few times the beans would burn a bit. She said that she would add chorizo to mask them being burnt. My uncles never knew and they would always tell her how good her beans were."
“My Dad's sister, Tia Rita, owned a Tienda de Abarrotes (corner market), where she sold household goods. She also sold cheese, salchicha (bologna), boltllos and avocados. She would make me a sorta with cheese, salchicha, avocado and mayo with a bottle of Coke to drink. To me that was the best thing ever. Delicious!
Serves 8 – 10
The specialty food ingredients (meat, chiles, nixtamal, tostados) can be purchased at the resources listed below. This is not an exhaustive list, but are sure bets for great quality.
Part 1: Meat and Stock
- 5 lbs. pork neck espinazo)
- 1 large or 2 small or brown onions
- 2 lbs. pig feet cut in quarters*
- 8 large cloves garlic
- 1 large or 2 small bay leaves
Method for the Meat and Stock
- Place pork neck bones in a large Dutch oven along with the onion, bay leaves and garlic.
- Cover with water and cook on high heat until boiling.
- Reduce to a low boil and continue to cook for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the scum.
- Turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour. Remove scum again.
- Add the pig’s feet* after an hour of simmering.
- Continue to simmer for an additional hour after the addition of the pig's feet. The broth should be rich and flavorful after two hours, but if it seems watery, let it go for another hour.
Part 2: Chile Sauce
- 2 dried Guajillo chiles
- 2 dried New Mexico chiles
- 1 dried Chipotle chile for smokiness
- 2 cups removed from the pork/chicken stock made in step one
Method for the Chile Sauce after the stock has been cooked:
- While the meat is simmering, toast the chilies to soften on a hot skillet or comal.
- After toasting, split open and remove the seeds.
- Boil the chilies in a little bit of plain water for 5 – 10 minutes. until they soften.
- Strain the chilies.
- Add 2 cups of the stock to the chiles, and blend in a food processor or blender.
Stock should be watery.
Part 3: Combining Ingredients
- 3 lbs. of nixtamal (So much better than canned hominy.)
Part 3 Combining Methods:
- Cover the nixtamal with water in a saucepan. Boil for a few minutes.
- Drain, but reserve a cup or two of the nixtamal boiling water, as it is quite flavorful.
- Remove meat from neck bones. Shred meat and return to the broth.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Remove pig’s feet or chicken thighs and set aside to serve alongside the pozole.
- Ladle in nixtamal to the meat and stock along with the Chile Sauce and the nixtamal boiling water.
- Add 3 – 5 Tbs. salt, but taste as you go for correct amount.
- Simmer all together for an additional hour for a total of at least 3 hours.
- Serve with the accompaniments below.
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Chopped cilantro
- Key limes cut in half to be squeezed into the pozole (“Make it almost like lemonade.”)
- El Paraiso brand Home Style Tostados (fried tortillas)
*Another pozole expert, Desire Zamorano, suggests using 2 lbs. chicken thighs instead of pigs feet if you prefer. .