Soup, salad, salad soup. Revelation. When we ate pozole on the Pacific coast of Mexico, it was a hot night and it made so much sense. The lettuce, spice and lime were so refreshing, yet there was this brothy, hearty soup hidden beneath it.
Where we were staying in Zipolite there was a famous pozole maker, an elderly lady who opened up the front of her house on Friday and Saturday nights and served pozole out of a giant pot. But when we were there she had been closed for over a month. There were worried whispers in the town that she wouldn’t open again and the recipe would be lost. Sarah and I were desperate to meet her, but alas could not. We did eat the other famous pozole in the town, again only served on the weekend, as something special. We tried to faithfully replicate that pozole, (with a little help from Diana Kennedy). The only major change to the taste is the use of fresh corn instead of the fat bites of hominy (dried corn) we ate in Mexico – as fresh corn is much more readily available.
This soup has an excellent savoury taste. The broth is so simple. The quality of the flavor will very much come from the quality of your meat – it should be as free-range and organic as possible. And don’t be scared to add a good amount of salt. Make sure to taste it! The complexity of flavours comes at the very end with the addition of the poblano chilis and salad ingredients. The epazote has a nice bitter flavor and the poblanos aren’t too spicy – they have a lovely sweetness to them. You should be able to get preserved poblanos and dried epazote at specialty grocers. But of course you could leave out the epazote, and substitute a different type of chili for the poblanos, if necessary.
(Adapted from Pozolillo, from My Mexico by Diane Kennedy)
for the stock
340g stewing free-range pork, roughly cut
10 cups of water
salt to taste
1 whole free-range chicken breast, skin on preferably
2 cups corn kernels, cut from the cob
4 poblano chiles, roughly chopped, seeds removed if you want
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
½ salad onion, roughly chopped
2 avocados, sliced
4 radish, sliced finely
1 small lettuce, chopped at the last minute before serving
tostadas (fried tortilla)
dried oregano, to sprinkle to taste
Put the pork, water and salt in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the chicken breast and very gently cook for 10 minutes. Add the corn kernels and epazote and continue to cook until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken, shred and keep warm. Discard the pork.
Fill each bowl with a little shredded chicken, fill with broth. Add the finishing ‘salad’ style ingredients to each bowl. Pass the accompaniments separately.